Your Opinion: City animal shelter policies clarified — Part I

Dear Editor:

This letter is in response to two recent letters regarding the Jefferson City Animal Shelter. Both letters contained some incorrect information, and need clarification.

When a pet is brought to the animal shelter it is immediately checked for a collar and scanned for a micro-chip. If the owner can be identified they are called to claim their animal. If the pet has no identification it is held for five days to give the owner a chance to claim it. Once their stray hold is up they are vaccinated, micro-chipped, and spayed or neutered before leaving the shelter; unless for medical reasons it needs to be done later, but this only happens a couple of times per year.

The certificates that Walters referenced have not been used since the animal shelter started spaying and neutering in house in 2009.

Unfortunately, un-owned or surrendered animals that have a terminal illness, or are deemed vicious are humanely euthanized; and the decision to deem an animal as vicious is a judgment call made by a human being. There is no foolproof method for determining an animal’s demeanor, and some normally friendly animals may behave differently in high stress situations.

I encourage all pet owners to have their animals micro-chipped and collared. A collar with tags is wonderful identification, but can come off, so implementing both forms is best. The shelter does micro-chip all animals before they leave the shelter, and this year all adopted animals will also be leaving with a collar on.

Studies have shown that animals adopted with a collar are more likely to wear a collar throughout their lives. When a person sees an animal with a collar it is immediately identified as an owned pet, and is therefore more likely to be reunited with its owner.

The adoption rate for adoptable animals at the new JC animal shelter is at 100 percent. Healthy, friendly animals are there until they are adopted, not put down for space or time constraints. And the shelter recently started working with breed-specific rescues to find homes for harder to adopt breeds. This relationship enables “bully breeds” to go to rescues which do screen applicants prior to adoption.

If you ever have questions about the shelter’s procedures do not hesitate to call and talk to them.

If you haven’t been to the shelter recently, come by for a visit. You will be surprised by the pleasant family friendly environment, and you may take home a new friend!

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