SANGER — Since handing animal control services over to All-American Dogs in late September, city officials are satisfied with the first three-month euthanasia and adoption rates.
However, officials said the real test would come in spring and summer, when stray animal numbers are historically higher.
From November through January, All-American Dogs officials reported they euthanized one animal in January out of the 56 dogs and cats impounded within the same three months.
“Their numbers look good and I am pleased,” City Manager Mike Brice said.
The council agreed to review rates every three months, but Bob Matthews, All-American Dogs president and owner, told council members last fall not to expect to see positive results for at least six months.
“They will probably be higher than we like, but that’s typical,” he told council members in September.
Matthews said it takes time before a shelter can transition and expand into a new city, but officials agree, so far, that All-American Dogs is off to a good start.
And as a part of the city’s contract with Matthews, the council agreed to help shelter officials expand their kennel space to avoid unnecessary euthanasia during the spring and summer months.
Mayor Thomas Muir said council members agreed to contract with All-American Dogs in the fall with hopes to improve adoption rates and decrease euthanasia rates.
Of the 56 animals impounded from November through January, four remain. The other animals, except the one that was euthanized, were either adopted or retrieved by their owners.
Prior to contracting with All-American Dogs, the city contracted with Gainesville-based Noah’s Ark Animal Shelter.
However, Noah’s Ark officials terminated their contract with Sanger in September after county residents and city officials began questioning whether or not the shelter’s euthanasia rates were too high.
Residents argued that the shelter’s euthanasia rates were higher than other local shelters and that contracting with another shelter could save more animals.
Because of the negative criticism, the shelter, which receives most of its revenue from donations, decided to cut ties with the city.
In August alone, Noah’s Ark euthanized six dogs and four cats; during the next two months, the shelter euthanized another seven animals, according to city records.
According to city documents, Noah’s Ark officials said they only euthanized animals that were sick, dangerous or fatally injured.
Noah’s Ark board president Shelly Gomulak said critics only wanted to focus on the “unfortunate, but necessary” euthanasia numbers.
But Muir said that if there’s an opportunity to improve rates, then it should be explored.
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .