City of W.F. Looks for Ways to Decrease Animal Euthanasia Numbers

During their planning workshop today, Wichita Falls city councilors found out nearly three thousand dogs and cats were euthanized from February 1st through December of last year..
    And, the health department wants to find a way to bring that number down.
    Katie Crosbie joins us now with more.
    Ann, Health Department Director Lou Franklin said throughout the state, many cities have ordinances  encourage spaying and neutering.
     Many charge fees for permits  if you want  to have  pets that are not spayed or neutered.

From February 1st, 2011 through the end of the year ... Health Department Director Lou Franklin  says nearly 27-hundred cats & dogs were impounded ... and about 14-hundred were turned in by owners or citizens. 

Of those, the city's animal services center sent about 4 percent to rescue ...  about 13 percent were reclaimed ... about 18 percent were transferred to the humane society ... and about 66 percent were euthanized.

Glenn Barham
Wichita Falls Mayor
"It's a tragedy in our society that we've got people out there that are not responsible to take care of their pets."

Lou Franklin
Health Department Director
"It's an unfortunate reality of what we do day to day, & even though 66% of the animals were euthanized this year, that is down 12 percent from the year before. And I really credit that drop to the amount of work that we do to get animals into rescue groups."

That includes working with the humane society, Petango, microchipping, & licensing.  To decrease the number of euthanizations ... Franklin proposed requiring a permit for those who choose not to spay or neuter. 

"To be able to get a permit, the animal has to be current on its license, its vaccinations, & you're not allowed to breed that animal more than once a year -- & that is an animal permit and a fee that has to be paid annually."

The council wants Franklin to go back and modify the proposal.

"At first glance, I wasn't too keen on the idea -- it basically requires pet owners to have two permits. Especially if you have an animal that has not been altered."

But here's the bottom line:

"We could have prevented the number of animals coming in if people would just be responsible & spay and neuter their pets."

"Take care of your pets. Do what's right."

Franklin says she's going to look at ways to provide more education for people ... and to consider some incentives for people to spay or neuter their animals, before developing an ordinance proposal.

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