Animal Shelter And Animal Control Progress

This progress report of the Animal Shelter was given to the City Commission

1988

* All unclaimed or adopted animals were euthanized weekly (no extended stays for any animal)

* Animals were picked up and transported for weekly euthanasia by Animal Resource Facilities (causing extreme, stress for the animals)

* Kennel lacked proper ventilation, and had no windows or air conditioning (summer temperatures and humidity levels were extreme, causing stress and disease among the dogs)

* All dogs and puppies regardless of age, condition, disposition and health were housed in the same room. It was impossible to isolate sick or dangerous animals

* Shelter staff lacked the proper confinement and equipment to handle dangerous dogs

* Cats were housed in a small, enclosed room with no ventilation or air exchange

* All cats regardless of age, condition, disposition and health were housed in small cages in this room (this caused stress and disease was rampant)

* Shelter staff lacked proper equipment and confinement to handle fractious or dangerous cats

2001

* Animals are euthanized if they are seriously ill, badly injured, have extreme behaviour problems, or are dangerous. As a last resort, they are euthanized when the shelter is out of space to properly house and care for them

* Animals are euthanized on-site by certified euthanasia technicians (animals know the technicians and are in familiar surroundings, alleviating fear-induced stress during euthanasia)

* Kennels have air conditioning, humidity control, windows, and skylights

* Kennels to separate dogs by age, condition, disposition and health are available

* An isolation kennel is available for sick dogs

* A dangerous dog area is now available to protect both the viewing public and shelter staff

* Shelter staff has proper confinement and professional equipment to handle dangerous dogs

* Cats have a professionally designed Cat Condo that promotes mental and physical health

* Separate isolation, quarantine, and feral (semi-wild) cat rooms are available (preventing or containing the spread of disease through the cat colonies)

* Shelter staff have professional cat nets to handle fractious or dangerous cats

Prior to Shelter Renovation and Expansion

* Lack of sufficient staff to handle daily demands of animal care and public service (State Animal Health Department guidelines require sufficient staff to care for the animals in the facility)

* Lacked lobby and office space

* No feed or storage areas

* No euthanasia room (animals were euthanized in small area used for staff kitchen, animal admitting, grooming and animal isolation ward)

* No area for public to interact with animals available for adoption

* No sound control to prevent hearing damage to staff and the viewing public

* Inadequate number and type of platforms to raise dogs and puppies off cold cement floors

* Temperatures in the lobby and office were extremely hot or cold. The walls in these areas dripped with moisture, frosted over during winter, and promoted the growth of mold during summer months.

* During rain, the office, lobby, and hallway were flooded

Renovation and Expansion has provided the following:

* Shelter has added personnel to handle the animal and public services. Full-time Supervisor/Euthanasia Technician, one Animal Technician/Euthanasia Technician, and three Animal Technician I personnel. (Now in compliance with State Guidelines)

* Large attractive lobby and modern equipped office space for supervisor, technicians and Animal Control Officers

* Feed and storage rooms

* Euthanasia Room/Treatment Room, Grooming Area and Staff Break Room

* Indoor and outdoor areas that allow the public to interact with animals for adoption

* Sound control panels in all the kennels to help prevent hearing damage

* All kennels now have raised platforms to protect the dogs from cold cement floors and prevent them from lying in excrement.

* Previous problems with moisture and flooding have been corrected

Animal Control

1988

* The Animal Control vehicle was a pickup and topper with crates to transport the animals. The animals in transport suffered from lack of ventilation and extreme temperatures.

* The pole noose to handle dangerous animals was a pipe with rope strung through it. Animals had to be choked to control them and the officer was in constant danger of being bitten and or loosing the animal.

* Leather gloves were all Animal Control had to handle wildlife and wild cats (placing officer and animal in grave danger of injury)

* Animals impossible to capture were shot

* Live traps were wire and plywood construction and in need of repair (placing a trapped animal in danger of serious injury)

1990ís (Health Department Improvements)

* Professional animal transport unit with ventilation (Temperatures still reached extremes, freezing or above 100 degrees) not in compliance with state guidelines

* Professional pole noose that locks to protect the officer and doesnít require choking an animal to control it

* Professional nets to handle wildlife and wild cats were purchased (protecting both officer and animal)

* A tranquilizer rifle was purchased (much better, but difficult to adjust and caused extreme injury to some animals)

* Purchased new professional live traps

2000-present

* Air conditioning unit installed for animal transport unit, (now in compliance with state guidelines)

* Damaged pole nooses replaced and poles of varying lengths were purchased for close or distant contacts

* Purchased updated professional nets for both shelter and control use

* Purchased a tranquilizer pistol (easy to adjust and causes minimal injury)

* Purchases more traps to handle the publicís requests concerning the removal of feral cat colonies (impossible to accomplish in the past due to the lack of a sufficient number of traps)