By CHRIS AGEE
An increase in strays and otherwise abandoned animals is becoming a big concern among those tasked with trying to find them appropriate homes.
The impending closure of the local Petsense, which has helped find homes for more than 1,500 pets over the past five years through numerous adoption events, exacerbates an already overwhelming situation, said Sherry Seabolt of the Palo Pinto County Humane Society.
She added her hope is another area business will step in to host similar events in the future, adding Petsense will continue to hold adoptions until it's closed.
“We’re looking for somewhere we could keep our stuff, have our adoptions,” she said, expressing a hope to find “someone that would want to keep shelter cats, because they don’t have a chance.”
Her assessment stems from the county animal shelter’s report from the first quarter of 2013.
The agency reports euthanizing 83 cats between January and March. During the same period, the shelter took in 121 animals and just 28 were adopted – 26 of which found homes during a Petsense adoption.
Stray and abandoned dogs in the county often face a similar fate, the report shows, with 92 having been euthanized in January alone.
Seabolt speculated an abundance of dogs kept at the shelter in hopes of holiday adoptions were the cause of the spike, though February and March totals show another 52 and 60 dogs were euthanized, respectively.
“I work with them and I was shocked,” she said of the report, explaining she hopes sharing the grim statistics will serve as a call for action among area animal lovers.
“People ought to know what’s going on, and it’s not the shelter’s fault,” Seabolt added, explaining the sheer number of animals picked up by animal control or dropped off at the shelter add up to an insurmountable task.
As for the shelter, she said the number of volunteers and foster owners has diminished in recent months.
Such support is needed to facilitate the proper care of animals prior to placing them with permanent owners.
Additionally, she asked those with pets to take appropriate steps to reduce animal overpopulation.
“Spaying and neutering is huge,” she said.
Anyone interested in serving as a volunteer or foster caregiver should contact the Humane Society at (940) 445-0144.
Several groups and agencies, including the Palo Pinto County Humane Society, Mineral Wells Animal Shelter, Community Animal Rescue Effort (CARE), and Help Mineral Wells/Palo Pinto County Animals, share photos of numerous animals currently up for adoption via social media.
Anyone interested in finding the perfect pet from any of the above mentioned organizations can visit the corresponding Facebook page for more information.