The Killeen Animal Shelter has decreased the number of animals being euthanized and increased its number of pet adoptions, the animal control supervisor said Thursday.
Lee Caufield, the Killeen Police Department commander in charge of animal control, has focused “a lot more” on pushing adoption events.
“We are seeing more adoptions, we are seeing more help with rescues, and we are seeing less adoption returns,” he said. “All of those combined over time add up. We’re only two months in; this is still very early. I’m not making any crazy projections saying we did great. I’m saying we got lucky, and we are working to keep that going.”
In January and February, the shelter euthanized 189 animals, a 12.5 percent decrease from the 216 euthanized in that time last year.
“We’re below where we were last year, and that’s my goal,” he said.
Caufield said the rate for March, thus far, is down about 24.5 percent.
Animals are placed in three categories when considered for euthanasia, he said. Animals with illnesses or injuries have a high potential for being considered. Caufield said animals that show aggressive behaviors are euthanized because they can’t be adopted out.
A third arena for euthanization, and one Caufield said the shelter hasn’t had to implement because of the success of adoptions, is the shelter’s capacity.
“The goal is not to euthanize because of space,” he said.
In January and February 2013, the shelter adopted out 305 animals. This year, as of the end of February, 301 were adopted out. Caufield said although this year’s number is four shy of the previous, the number of adoptions thus far in March will put the shelter ahead of the curve.
Caufield said the shelter recently started adoptions at Petco, which also has taken the city on as an adoption partner.
“Where that becomes important is that as the year progresses, Petco does different donation activities. When they do major donation events, we have the potential to draw as much as half of what they receive,” he said. “Last year that would have been about $13,000.”
The number of people who adopt pets and then return them to the shelter also dropped from 53 last year to 39 this year.
“We are seeing across-the-board better results,” Caufield said.
“Our hope is that we will keep these numbers working.”