By Libby Cluett
Walden Farm and Ranch Supply will host a pet adoption from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, and, again, next Saturday, both featuring adoptable animals from the Mineral Wells Animal Shelter that need forever homes.
Next week’s event will include a ceremonial ribbon cutting for the adoption station, located inside the store, that highlights beautiful, playful cats and kittens from the shelter, that need homes.
In a typical month the Mineral Wells Animal Shelter could euthanize as many as 150 dogs and cats, according to Mineral Wells Police Department Lt. Brad Belz. However, with recent attention after last week’s council meeting and assistance from the Humane Society and concerned citizens, Belz said they have adopted out many animals and placed others in foster homes through the humane society.
Belz said Facebook posts, concerned about a report that up to 30 animals would be euthanized last Friday, sparked action and further attention to the shelter. He said they were busy at the end of the week with the increased fosters and adoptions and general public coming in.
Although those animals are situated, some at least temporarily, the shelter constantly takes in animals.
“This is a 365-day journey,” Belz said.
He said some people coming in questioned why the shelter would euthanize when its runs were not completely full. But Belz explained that, in any given day, staff could be called to collect enough animals to fill a set of runs.
In fact, he added, “Monday brought in enough dogs to fill the other two [of four] runs.”
Adoptions certainly help, but he said several other actions over the past weeks have helped curb euthanasia, he said.
At last week’s city council meeting, the council changed city policy to add two days to the 72-hour hold on animals prior to being euthanized.
Belz said this now makes the fourth day, not the second day, the “disposition” day.
This decision came after a couple informed council of their ordeal losing two young dogs, after they escaped the fence over the Fourth of July holiday and were euthanized at the shelter, before the family could collect them.
Belz said another factor that has helped curb euthanasia is assistance from the Palo Pinto County Humane Society and fosters who work through this non-profit organization.
In fact, he said several animals, including a number of owner-surrendered Chihuahuas, now in foster hands, will be available for adoption at Waldens on Saturday.
He said the shelter has an assortment of dogs, varying in sizes from the Chihuahuas to Pit Bulls and larger. And, on a daily basis, Waldens has many shelter cats and kittens inside the store in the adoption center.
The Palo Pinto County Humane Society will also be on hand at Saturday’s adoption to help and those fostering shelter-released animals will bring some of the puppies and dogs in their temporary care.
“Adoptions have increased based on the public becoming aware of how often we euthanize,” he said of the reality of running a city shelter. “Euthanasia is a part of the process, being the size of our shelter, we have to euthanize.”
“People are more aware of what we do. We’ve shown a big increase in adoptions and foster parents (PPCHS) and people coming in to look. We hope to see people coming in on a regular basis,” Belz added. “People can come in any time the shelter is open.”
The Mineral Wells Animal Shelter is on Facebook and tries to post photos as much as possible. Belz said they welcome volunteers, too.