Yadkin County Animal Control exceeds 2012 adoption goals

Lindsay CravenStaff Writer

January 4, 2013

Lindsay Craven

Staff Writer

Yadkin County Animal Control has exceeded its adoption goals for 2012 by nearly 20 adoptions and the shelter looks forward to continue to exceed the goal as the holidays approach.

Animal control has faced a lot of negative attitudes and press in previous years with less than stellar conditions for adoptable pets and euthanasia via the gas method but as new leadership has come to the shelter the facility has managed to turn the community and the county’s perception around.

“In the past Yadkin County struggled to break 100 adoptions in a year,” said Anna Hamby, Yadkin county Animal Control Director. “Last year we were able to accomplish 153 adoptions and we were pretty excited about that. It was a dramatic increase over what we have had in the past. This year I set my sights on 200 adoptions because I felt like a 1/3 increase would be a good goal for us.”

As of Dec. 18 the adoption number for 2012 sits at 219 cats and dogs with another 13 days left in the month for adoptions.

Hamby said that she credits several changes to animal control policies and practices to the record breaking year. Her first acknowledgement is volunteers at the shelter. Hamby said that the volunteers work with adoptable animals and their work spreading the word in their communities has played a huge part in their success.

Hamby said that the shelter has also started allowing discounted adoption rates for approved non-profit rescue groups that look for certain breeds and can move those pets quicker than the shelter could.

“We try to get breed rescues that we know are going to be interested so we can quickly move those dogs and cats out of the shelters to prevent overcrowding as best we can,” Hamby said.

Hamby said that the shelter also started offering reduced adoption rates for dogs that were already spayed or neutered. This allows animal control to place older dogs in homes more quickly.

Social media is another avenue that Hamby credits with a more successful adoption rate in 2012. Animal control has started listing available pets on its Facebook page and also features available pets on WXII’s “Pet of the Week” segment, features a weekly ad in The Yadkin Ripple and is working on creating Twitter and Pintrest accounts.

Hamby said that the shelter anticipates even more adoptions in the next week or two as people like to add a new cat or dog to their family as a Christmas present.

“We do like to have animals adopted and if Christmas is the time to get them adopted then we’re excited about that,” Hamby said. “We’ve been very lucky to not have many returns. A lot of shelters have issues with return after the holidays or a few months later once the puppy or kitten is full grown. I think that people are really taking their time and thinking through their decision before adopting an animal and we’re pleased with that.”

Hamby said that animal control staff is always on hand during adoption times to consult with potential adopters about the animals available at the shelter and their personalities and needs. Adopters are encouraged to bring their existing pets to meet a potential adoption dog or cat to see if the animals get along.

“We want to make sure it’s the right fit when they adopt,” Hamby said. “Any time you bring something new into your family and into your home it’s a big decision and it can put you off kilter if there’s not peace in the home.”

Hamby said that in the case that an adoption is not a good match for the family there is a one week return policy.

“If there’s a medical issue, the dog just doesn’t fit with your family or another legitimate reason then adopters can bring that pet back within one week from adoption,” Hamby said.

If a return is necessary, all adoption fees will be returned.

Hamby said that she hopes to see some new additions in 2013 that will continue to help animal control exceed the goals it sets for itself. Hamby said that she believes the addition of the cat room will make a big difference in the shelter’s cat adoption rates. Hamby also believes the inclusion of a foster program will help prepare more dogs for adoption that might not have been adopted otherwise while also allowing the shelter the ability to take in more animals at a time.

“The more animals that we can get into foster care, the more capacity we have to decrease euthanasia numbers,” Hamby said. “Foster homes are also your best bet for helping with training issues or medical issues that would make an animal available for adoption that might not otherwise be eligible for adoption.”

Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at lcraven@heartlandpublications.com.