Unlike our furry animal friends, who fall asleep next to us on the couch or wag their tails for us at the door, animal welfare statistics are not comforting. A long list of statistics may cause your eyes to glaze but remember that data is more than just numbers. Each animal welfare number indicates a dog, puppy, cat or kitten that may have lost their life in an animal shelter through no fault of their own. The Burton Fletcher Foundation for Animals, Inc. is an animal welfare advocate committed to making the Lowndes County Animal Shelter a no-kill shelter, defined as having 90% or more live animal outcomes. By collecting and sharing animal shelter data and working with local government and animal welfare organizations, we will be better able to see how to shift programs and resources to serve animals in need and avoid unnecessary euthanasia. From 2000-10, the number of animals euthanized at the Lowndes County Animal Shelter was 63,589, or an average of only 16% in live outcomes. That means that out of every 100 animals, only 16 escaped with their lives. In contrast, 23,179 animals were euthanized from 2011-21, with an average increase of 47% in live outcomes. Again, most animals entering the shelter during the last two decades were euthanized. The following graph includes the Lowndes County Animal Shelter data for the first three quarters of 2022. Through the third quarter of 2022, the Lowndes County Animal Shelter statistics recorded that 1,038 animals were euthanized, with 1,809 animals coming out alive, with the live outcome average of the three quarters increasing to 64%. This is better but far below what many other shelters have achieved. The Lowndes County Animal Shelter statistics for 2022 show improvement. Considerable credit goes to the animal rescue organizations (not funded by the Lowndes County commissioners and we assert they should be) who keep many animals out of the shelter and pull many animals from the shelter before they are euthanized. Please support animal welfare organizations by fostering, adopting, donating, and sponsoring these tax-deductible 501©(3) organizations like ours and let’s keep driving those euthanasia numbers down. By keeping the lines of communication open, we are confident that the Lowndes County Animal Shelter and the Lowndes County commissioners can continue to improve systems and funding. A new building in Lowndes County for the Lowndes County Animal Shelter will not solve the problems present in our community more than, say, a mandatory neutering law that we support. By making community members aware of the high number of animal euthanasia statistics at the Lowndes County Animal Shelter each month, we aim to prompt animal owners to spay, neuter, foster, adopt and donate to reduce those numbers. Accurate, easy-to-find shelter data identifies concerns while exposing problems for resolution by our county commissioners. For that reason, we have provided the statistics to the Lowndes County commissioners for the Animal Shelter commencing in 2000 through August 2022. Burton Fletcher is founder ad president of Burton Fletcher Foundation for Animals and Terri Ernissee is a graphic designer/writer with Burton Fletcher Foundation for Animals.
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