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Euthanizations remain high at Roswell shelter

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Roughly one in three of all animals brought into Roswell’s animal shelter continue to be euthanized, according to the latest animal control reports.

As of the end of August, 2,907 dogs, cats and other animals have been brought to the city shelter at 705 E. McGaffey St. Of that total, 902 of the animals were euthanized.

In August alone, 461 animals were admitted to the shelter, 148 of which were euthanized.

At this time last year, 3,290 dogs, cats and other animals were taken to the shelter, with 1,047 of those euthanized.

Adoptions and reclaims have minimized the number of animals euthanized.

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Of the 461 animals admitted to the shelter in August, 216 were adopted and 66 were reclaimed.

Of the 2,907 dogs, cats and other animals brought to the city shelter this year, 1,464 have been adopted, and 512 reclaimed.

Late last month, the city hosted an Animal Issues Forum to discuss options for the animal shelter. Both animal rescue volunteers and city officials expressed optimism. City Manager Joe Neeb said the next step is to rework and update animal control ordinances. Currently, animals at the city shelter are subject to euthanization after 21 days at the shelter, or sooner if the shelter is full and needs to make room for more animals. Neeb said people have called Animal Services staff “murderers” and “torturers” for euthanizing dogs and cats.

The city’s Animal Shelter at 705 E. McGaffey St. has 142 kennels for cats, dogs and other animals, as well as other kennels for quarantine or emergencies. According to Animal Services Supervisor Joseph Pacheco, the shelter stays close to full most of the time.

Mayor Dennis Kintigh said at the forum that the fundamental problem is that the city has too many stray animals.

Animal Services has a $669,282 budget this fiscal year, which is funded by sales, property taxes and some user fees. Neeb said its costs are exceeding its revenue sources at this point.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap contributed to this report.

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