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More dogs, cats left at shelter due to foreclosures

More dogs, cats left at shelter due to foreclosures

Many animal owners report the loss of a home as the reason for surrendering a pet at the Turlock Animal Shelter.


POSTED April 5, 2011 10:51 p.m.

All members of a family are impacted by the loss or foreclosure of a home, and that includes pets. The City of Turlock Police Department released its 2010 annual report, and Animal Services has seen an increase in dog euthanasia, likely related to the increase of foreclosed homes in the area.

Officer Glena Jackson of Turlock Animal services explained that when pet owners surrender an animal to the Turlock Animal Shelter they are asked the specific reason for the surrender.

“We’ve had an increase in abandoned animals and owner release. Many owners say it is because they have lost their home,” Jackson said.

The total number of dogs euthanized at the shelter was 444 in 2010, up from 367 the previous year. The report says that although this increase seems high, homes are still being found for the majority of animals brought to the shelter. The 444 dogs euthanized were only 31 percent of the total dogs impounded in 2010.

 The number of cats euthanized was also slightly up, from 1,267 in 2009 to 1,281 in 2010. Of the 1,682 cats impounded last year, 76 percent were euthanized. Many of those were homeless kittens, brought in too young to eat on their own. Homeless and feral cats are often the result of owner abandonment.

Jackson said that despite report statistics, volunteer hours at the shelter are on the rise. The report included alternative work program volunteer hours and community service volunteer hours, which were down 34 and 51 percent, respectively. Jackson said that those hours were mandatory or court ordered community service hours.

“They get to pick where they do those hours. But the early release program with no community service has decreased the number of people who are mandated to do that type of community service,” Jackson said.

The six working volunteers at the shelter have increased their hours, and the shelter also receives hourly volunteers from students who need to do hours for graduation.  The shelter saw a decrease in kennel attendants, who they cannot replace, so there are less staff members to oversee volunteers.

“We’re trying to do more with less personnel,” Jackson said.

Overall, however, Jackson said the shelter is doing okay.

“We haven’t had any huge major decreases. We took our 5 percent across the board like everyone else, but we’re hanging in there,” she said.

To learn more about Animal Services or see adoptable animals, visit http://www.turlock.ca.us/citydepartments/policedepartment/specialoperations/animalcontrol/.

To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail agoodwin@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.

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