The county animal shelter has almost double the number of dogs it can comfortably accommodate.
GEORGETOWN, Texas — This week, the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter took in 20 dogs in a single day.
“To put that into perspective, one of our adoption rooms has 12 kennels,” said Misty Valenta, who runs the shelter. “So in one day we had more dogs than it could fill One of our adoption rooms.”
Valenta added that the shelter can “comfortably” accommodate 100 dogs. As of this week, they house 190 dogs in kennels. To try and get more dogs adopted and adopted quickly, Valenta and his team created a so-called “euthanasia prevention” list.
“Shelters generally put up euthanasia lists when they are over capacity. It’s just not something we were comfortable with here. It’s not how we run the shelter” , Valenta said. “We kind of flipped it around and said, ‘What if we put out a list of dogs that we think are the easiest dogs to fit into most homes and call it the prevention list? ‘euthanasia? So by saving these dogs, we can save all dogs.”
Valenta noted that the shelter is not a mandatory “no-kill” shelter. However, since 2010, the shelter has been able to take in or adopt 90% of the dogs that have passed through its doors.
“It’s kind of the opposite of a traditional euthanasia list to be on our list: you’re friendly to everyone, you fit into most homes and most living environments, you usually get along with other dogs, children, etc. in all the homes that come to visit, the more likely you will be on this list to be adopted sooner,” Valenta said.
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The list is usually restricted to dogs that have been at the shelter for a while. The typical shelter stay for a given dog is about two weeks.
According to Valenta, the shelter has only created such a list three times – all in the past two months. Each time, the dogs listed were placed or adopted within days of publication of the list.
“It was a new way to talk about the issue and shine a light on some of the dogs that shouldn’t be here for so long. They’re great,” Valenta said.
According to the shelter’s social media, there’s also a “choose your own adoption fee” event taking place throughout this week.
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