Owner surrenders increase at Amarillo’s animal shelter; volunteers needed

Owner surrenders increase at Amarillo’s animal shelter; volunteers needed

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The kennels at Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare are filled with animals who have been brought to the shelter, many surrendered by their owners.

“It’s not just litters of puppy and kittens, we have adults dogs, adult cats, that are being surrendered for various reasons that would be avoidable, such as we’re moving, we’re having a baby,” said Christy Fischer, Interim Director of Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare.

Fischer says it is puppy and kitten season, which means surrenders typically increase.

However, even when owners are presented with services to keep their pets, many services offered free of charge, the majority of owners decline.

“There’s been multiple times where we have had staff who are in tears trying to convince an owner to keep their pet, saying we can offer you this, we can give you this," said Fischer. “They’re just not interested. We really wish pet owners might be willing to work with their animal, to really see what solutions exist out there. When you bring an animal into your home, that’s for life.”

In an effort to help the community become more involved in the work the shelter does, the animal shelter will be hosting a volunteer open house tomorrow at 9 a.m.

“We’re giving the community a chance to actually come in, an hour before we even open to the public and take a look around,” said LeighAnn Briones, Volunteer Program Coordinator for Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare. “See all the opportunities we have to offer. If they just want to do dog walking, they can just do dog walking. If they want to do dishes or help fold the blankets for the kittens, they can do that. We’re giving you the option.”

“No matter what they’re doing, they’re still helping to save lives out here,” said Fischer.

Adoptions at Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare are currently $20 for cats and range from $25 to $35 for dogs.

All fees include spay and neuter, microchip, flea prevention and the first three rounds of shots.

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