Three Out Of Four Animals Euthanized At Shelter

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It’s an amazing statistic, but a common one at many shelters these days. This morning I read an article Las Cruces Sun News today about Animal Shelter Euthanasia Rates Remains High. They mention some alarming statistics including the one stated in the title of this article: “Three out of four of the roughly 1,500 animals taken in per month are killed.” That means that approximately 1,050 out of 1,500 animals are killed each month…that’s SHOCKING!!!

Animal Shelter Euthanasia Rates Remains High

Despite a goal by officials to move toward a no-kill animal shelter, the pet euthanasia rate at the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley is more than 70 percent.

I won’t pretend to know all the details going on at the Animal Services Center of th Mesilla Valley, but if 6 months ago the shelter director announced a goal of becoming a no-kill animal shelter then 70 percent euthanasia rate makes me believe that at this point the shelter is failing miserably.

The article does mention several possible issues and obstacles keeping the animal shelter from improving their numbers and moving towards the goal of a no-kill policy including:

  • Lack of a full-time veterinarian
  • The current directors outdated approach to tackling the euthanasia and pet overpopulation problems
  • A “throw-away” mentality prevalent among county residents that places little value on pets’ lives and well-being.
  • The shelter’s unfriendly atmosphere toward the public

The article brings to light some of the issues going on with one of Las Cruces’s local animal shelters and hopefully at some point in time the Animal Services Center of The Mesilla Valley does achieve its goal of becoming a no-kill shelter. However, at this point it does appear that they might be moving in the wrong direction.

Are You Ready For Pet Adoption?

If you’re interested in pet adoption do not take it lightly. As mentioned in one of the points earlier do not have the “throw away” mentality. You pets life is valuable and requires a long-term commitment.

One of the most important points I’d like to make when adopting a dog is to focus on their training. Your friends and family will enjoy your dog if he understands basic obedience. You and your dog will feel more comfortable on any outings whether it be to the dog park or to a friends home (you will be welcome to more peoples homes if your dog is well-behaved). Also, training your dog is a great bonding experience for you and your dog.

I did a little research in hopes of finding a database of animals from the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley, but was only able to come up with a link to the City of Las Cruces website with information contact information and hours of service. After a little further research I found their adoptable pet list on the website. Here’s a link directly to their adoptable list: Animal Service Center of The Mesilla Valley.

The two pictures I included in this article are from the Las Cruces Sun News website. There are several other pictures at the following link: Animal Adoption Pictures.

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  1. @hrj, We agree. It’s shocking to hear statistics like this one. We do our best to help out by volunteering as fosters for our local animal rescues.

  2. This shocks me! i love animals and would hate to see any animal being killed. they have lives to. they need to be spoken out for. they need help just like anyone else does!

  3. @Jai J, I’m really glad there are people out there like you to volunteer and help out the local shelters. It’s really tough to hear how awful it can be at the shelter even one that “claims they do not euthanize unless an animal is very sick or ‘unsuitable’ for adoption.”

    I’ve volunteered as a foster doggie parent and rescued dogs from our local shelters. Unfortunately, there’s only so much time in the day and I’m currently raising a guide dog which doesn’t allow me the time to foster. However, after reading your comment I’m inspired to try and help out the shelter by working with and walking the dogs.

    Thanks for your great comment and hopefully I can get some posts up about my future experiences working with and walking shelter dogs.

  4. I do volunteer work a local Humane Society, working with the dogs, mostly walking them, giving them time and attention. I love working with them BUT am having difficulty with dealing with the reality of how being in the shelter affects them. I can’t stand seeing so these dogs going through what they do. What I see is really good and beautiful, loving dogs come into the shelter where they spend their first days in various states of panic and/or what I call “abandoned shock” and after that they begin to become more and more detached, focusing more and more on the workers with begging eyes, hoping just to be the next dog going out for a walk. Once out, their focus switches from looking to the person who took them out to walking and sniffing, going and going, not wanting to stop for petting or being talked to or cuddled (the detachment). I’m guessing still hoping to get away to “somewhere else”, their former home or environment, somewhere they will feel home and safe and happy. My heart breaks for them. I search my mind, heart and soul hoping to come up with something I can do, someone I can talk to who can help do something for these dogs, somewhere I can go to change their sad, sorry situation but I can’t find anyone or any solutions. In the meantime dog after dog after dog sits in their small, concrete kennel “cage”, often smelly because they don’t get out often enough or are just too tense to hold it so end up urinating or defecating inside, and waits for their former owners to come back or for someone who will get them out of there. There must be a better way to house and care for them while they wait, whether they end up adopted or euthanized.

    The shelter I work for claims they do not euthanize unless an animal is very sick or “unsuitable” for adoption. Some are definitely aggressive and not good candidates for adoption. But I am shocked at how easily a dog is deemed unsuitable and pulled to be euthanized. Euthanization is a fact of life at the shelter and way too many perfectly good dogs end up that way. Yesterday they put a big, beautiful Lab and 2 St. Bernard’s down because they “became dog aggressive”. The 3 adult dogs had been there for months, not properly exercised or given enough attention, bored and lonely, and they began “lunging” at other dogs as they went bye their kennels. If they had been taken out for longer periods of time and properly exercised and gotten some stroking, scratching and talking to instead of sitting in their small kennel inside in the constant loud, barking noise of the kennel and only being taken out 5 to 15 minutes twice a day, very seldom receiving affection or real loving talking to, they’d be perfectly fine. They were all gentle, sweet dogs when they arrived. And today a beautiful Great Dane puppy was put on death row (to be euthanized tomorrow) because it “bit” someone. Come on, it’s a 3 month old puppy and all it needs is training! The “bite” was just a playful puppy wanting to play some more and trying to wiggle out of being put back in it’s kennel, nothing more than an innocent pup that now won’t have a chance at the life it deserves. Just makes me sad and angry and SO frustrated. But what can I do . . . quit my volunteering there? That won’t change a thing. At least by going there I give a little love and comfort, time and exercise, for a little while and that adds SOMETHING to their day. But . . . how can I/we somehow change the plight of shelter dogs? How can I/we make this particular shelter improve and be a better place? What can I/we do to educate and impress upon people, all people, that they MUST neuter their pets, should buy pets already here needing homes rather than buy from breeders which only encourages the breeder to breed more? How can I/we make Humane Societies/Shelters better places for dogs to wait (more calming, caring, quality time places)?

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