Huntsville Animal Services works to become no-kill shelter - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Huntsville Animal Services works to become no-kill shelter

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Huntsville Animal Services works toward becoming no-kill shelter. (Source: WAFF) Huntsville Animal Services works toward becoming no-kill shelter. (Source: WAFF)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - No more euthanasia. Huntsville Animal Services said that's always been the dream, but now it's closer to becoming reality. 

The city is now working more closely with animal shelters, vets and volunteers in the area. For example, the Greater Huntsville Humane Society is taking more of the dogs and cats that are at risk for euthanasia. 

In the past, they've helped out when they could, but last month they committed to taking at least two dogs and two cats a week. Most of the time, these are larger or older animals. In the past month, they have taken about a dozen animals on the verge of euthanasia.

Huntsville Animal Services said others are offering the same type of services. A few organizations are at least taking pictures of the animals and pushing for more adoptions. 

Director Dr. Karen Shepard said in order for this to work, they need the community's help and involvement. Shepard said they need fosters for the pets or volunteers to help at the shelter. If nothing else, Dr. Shepard said just being a good pet owner to the one you have is crucial.

"Get one pet,” said Dr. Shepard. “Recognize you are going to have it for 15 years. Get it spayed and neutered, ask for help if you need it. Ask us for help."

Right now, nearly 80 percent of dogs brought in are saved. That is up significantly from just a few years ago. Huntsville Animal Services is only able to save 30 percent of cats and kittens that come through the door, however with the new partnerships, Dr. Shepard expects that number to double by the end of this year.

Other programs beginning soon include sterilizing cats on the streets and them releasing them back. There are programs that do this now, but Huntsville Animal Services has partnered with them to provide services.

A behavior hotline is also in the works. People with questions about how to care for their animal or are frustrated with their pet, will be able to call and ask for solutions or help. The city also wants to provide counseling for people who think they can’t take care of their pet any longer and want to surrender it. If nothing else, Dr. Shepard said this will help them be more responsible in the future.

Even after Huntsville Animal Services becomes completely “no kill,” Dr. Shepard said they will still euthanize dogs that are sick, hurt or violent.

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