Kill rate dropping at Hamilton animal services

News Feb 04, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

Manager says shelter staff loves their animals

By Mark Newman, News Staff

The manager of Hamilton’s animal services department says their push for responsible pet ownership, including having dog owners buy licenses, has resulted in a falling kill rate over the last several years.

Paola Pianegonda said the euthanasia rate has fallen by about 76 percent since 2005 at the animal services shelter on Dartnall Road.

Animal services shares space in the same building as the Hamilton-Burlington SPCA, but otherwise the two organizations are separate entities.

Last year animal services euthanized 1,451 animals, including 641 cats, 120 dogs, 680 wildlife and 10 small domestic animals.

The shelter took in more than 5,300 animals in 2014.

That includes more than 2,000 stray cats and 1,000 stray dogs; the rest were surrendered by people who could no longer look after their pet mainly due to age, illness or temperament.

In most cases the animals were put down for those same reasons.

The 2014 number of animals put down is 628 less than in 2013 that saw 2,079 animals euthanized, including 147 dogs and 980 cats.

Wild animals include raccoons or deer that have been hit by a car and an animal services officer will euthanize them on the spot.

Pianegonda noted a veterinary technician examines all animals that come into the shelter and any decision to put a dog or cat down is not taken lightly.

“People work here because the love animals,” said Pianegonda, who noted it’s not unusual to see a staffer take an animal home to be their pet or to be fostered until a home can be found for them. “The staff here are passionate about what they do.”

Karen Edwards, an animal services advisor, said the number of cats they are putting down has fallen dramatically since the city took animal control services from the SPCA in 2003.

“We used to have the vet coming in three times a week and could be putting down in the peak (summertime) periods 100-120 cats per day, three times a week,” she said.

Edwards added there remains a public perception that animal services is only in the business of putting animals down.

She noted there are times during the summer season when cats may be put down due to lack of space.

In 2014 that happened 10 times and 140 times in 2013.

The shelter can accommodate about 51 dogs and 100 cats.

Late last month there were nine dogs and 26 cats on hand.

Pianegonda said the average stay for a cat or dog at animal services is 12 days after which they are usually turned over to the SPCA or an animal rescue organization.

The best way to lower the euthanasia rate, Pianegonda said, is for owners to spay or neuter their pets, purchase dog licenses and have cats wear some sort of identification collar.

Last year 43 licensed dogs found roaming were given a free ride home by animal services officers.

Kill rate dropping at Hamilton animal services

News Feb 04, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

Manager says shelter staff loves their animals

By Mark Newman, News Staff

The manager of Hamilton’s animal services department says their push for responsible pet ownership, including having dog owners buy licenses, has resulted in a falling kill rate over the last several years.

Paola Pianegonda said the euthanasia rate has fallen by about 76 percent since 2005 at the animal services shelter on Dartnall Road.

Animal services shares space in the same building as the Hamilton-Burlington SPCA, but otherwise the two organizations are separate entities.

Last year animal services euthanized 1,451 animals, including 641 cats, 120 dogs, 680 wildlife and 10 small domestic animals.

The shelter took in more than 5,300 animals in 2014.

That includes more than 2,000 stray cats and 1,000 stray dogs; the rest were surrendered by people who could no longer look after their pet mainly due to age, illness or temperament.

In most cases the animals were put down for those same reasons.

The 2014 number of animals put down is 628 less than in 2013 that saw 2,079 animals euthanized, including 147 dogs and 980 cats.

Wild animals include raccoons or deer that have been hit by a car and an animal services officer will euthanize them on the spot.

Pianegonda noted a veterinary technician examines all animals that come into the shelter and any decision to put a dog or cat down is not taken lightly.

“People work here because the love animals,” said Pianegonda, who noted it’s not unusual to see a staffer take an animal home to be their pet or to be fostered until a home can be found for them. “The staff here are passionate about what they do.”

Karen Edwards, an animal services advisor, said the number of cats they are putting down has fallen dramatically since the city took animal control services from the SPCA in 2003.

“We used to have the vet coming in three times a week and could be putting down in the peak (summertime) periods 100-120 cats per day, three times a week,” she said.

Edwards added there remains a public perception that animal services is only in the business of putting animals down.

She noted there are times during the summer season when cats may be put down due to lack of space.

In 2014 that happened 10 times and 140 times in 2013.

The shelter can accommodate about 51 dogs and 100 cats.

Late last month there were nine dogs and 26 cats on hand.

Pianegonda said the average stay for a cat or dog at animal services is 12 days after which they are usually turned over to the SPCA or an animal rescue organization.

The best way to lower the euthanasia rate, Pianegonda said, is for owners to spay or neuter their pets, purchase dog licenses and have cats wear some sort of identification collar.

Last year 43 licensed dogs found roaming were given a free ride home by animal services officers.

Kill rate dropping at Hamilton animal services

News Feb 04, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

Manager says shelter staff loves their animals

By Mark Newman, News Staff

The manager of Hamilton’s animal services department says their push for responsible pet ownership, including having dog owners buy licenses, has resulted in a falling kill rate over the last several years.

Paola Pianegonda said the euthanasia rate has fallen by about 76 percent since 2005 at the animal services shelter on Dartnall Road.

Animal services shares space in the same building as the Hamilton-Burlington SPCA, but otherwise the two organizations are separate entities.

Last year animal services euthanized 1,451 animals, including 641 cats, 120 dogs, 680 wildlife and 10 small domestic animals.

The shelter took in more than 5,300 animals in 2014.

That includes more than 2,000 stray cats and 1,000 stray dogs; the rest were surrendered by people who could no longer look after their pet mainly due to age, illness or temperament.

In most cases the animals were put down for those same reasons.

The 2014 number of animals put down is 628 less than in 2013 that saw 2,079 animals euthanized, including 147 dogs and 980 cats.

Wild animals include raccoons or deer that have been hit by a car and an animal services officer will euthanize them on the spot.

Pianegonda noted a veterinary technician examines all animals that come into the shelter and any decision to put a dog or cat down is not taken lightly.

“People work here because the love animals,” said Pianegonda, who noted it’s not unusual to see a staffer take an animal home to be their pet or to be fostered until a home can be found for them. “The staff here are passionate about what they do.”

Karen Edwards, an animal services advisor, said the number of cats they are putting down has fallen dramatically since the city took animal control services from the SPCA in 2003.

“We used to have the vet coming in three times a week and could be putting down in the peak (summertime) periods 100-120 cats per day, three times a week,” she said.

Edwards added there remains a public perception that animal services is only in the business of putting animals down.

She noted there are times during the summer season when cats may be put down due to lack of space.

In 2014 that happened 10 times and 140 times in 2013.

The shelter can accommodate about 51 dogs and 100 cats.

Late last month there were nine dogs and 26 cats on hand.

Pianegonda said the average stay for a cat or dog at animal services is 12 days after which they are usually turned over to the SPCA or an animal rescue organization.

The best way to lower the euthanasia rate, Pianegonda said, is for owners to spay or neuter their pets, purchase dog licenses and have cats wear some sort of identification collar.

Last year 43 licensed dogs found roaming were given a free ride home by animal services officers.