Another year has passed and it’s time for an update on how the Wexford County Animal Shelter is doing with the pets in their care and problems that need to be addressed. Ever since reporting on the shelter in January of 2013, I have kept an eye on their intake and euthanasia numbers and also looked at their stray dog information and how long they are being held. In the past, they have gotten fined for numerous things including stray hold violations, poor record keeping and not vetting pets. While the volunteers are doing a great job socializing the pets and networking them to help with high adoption rates which results in much lower euthanasia rates, there is still a problem with poor record keeping as I found out with a recent FOIA. There is missing information, duplicate information, animals reported as killed but no record of intake, missing information on how animals got to the shelter, etc. There are also still violations regarding holding periods. The state requires animal shelters to hold onto stray animals for a certain amount of time. There are three definite violations and one possible (not confirmed due to poor record keeping) and three quarantine violations.
There were 34 dogs killed at the shelter in 2014 (27 owner surrenders and 7 strays) and 16 cats killed (9 owner surrenders and 7 strays). The longest hold time for any animal killed was 51 days. The two main breeds of dogs that are killed at the shelter are Pit Bulls & Pit Mixes (16) and also Labs & Lab Mixes (7). Of the cats killed, 13 of them were short haired cats. Listed as reasoning for why animals were euthanized at the shelter, being aggressive was the main reason (19) whether towards people or other pets.
There were many reasons given why people surrendered their pets. For dogs, the main reasons were not liking their owner or kids or other pets in their household – and also being destructive in the house. Another reason that was stated often for giving up their cat or dog was it not being housetrained. Additionally, several animals were abandoned, due to the owner going to jail or for other reasons.