Winnipeg's Animal Services has just announced that they have seen a considerable drop in euthanizations.
COO of Animal Services in Winnipeg, Leland Gordon, explains.
"So we've had some great news, and the news is that our euthanizations have significantly dropped since 2008. So in 2008 we euthanized unfortunately 359 dogs in our facility, and in 2016, just last year, it dropped down to 28. So we've had a massive decrease of euthanizations and I think the community and tax payers can be very excited when we release a stat like that."
There have been many factors that have made this possible including more staff and volunteers and many progressive measures such as featuring animals online for adoption with pictures and videos. This is on the City of Winnipeg's website, as well as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube. The organization has also been proactive in promoting responsible pet ownership, and pet licensing as well as working closely with groups such as the Winnipeg Lost Dog Alert to make sure lost dogs are returned home.
Licensing has allowed 311 operators to reunite about 600 pets with their families a year without them ever going to a shelter and has helped to fund necessary programs for Animal Services.
"The days of Animal Services euthanizing nice, healthy dogs that have nothing wrong with them are long gone... but we're what's known as an open admission animal shelter. What that means is we take in all the stray dogs off the streets of Winnipeg regardless of their temperament. So we take in the most aggressive dogs and we also take in the friendliest dogs and everything inbetween. So as long as we have that philosophy... we'll always have euthanization. But we can work together with everybody to really drive down that number as low as possible."
The only dogs that are euthanized currently are those that are extremely aggressive, and therefore not safe to adopt out to a family, or that are terminally ill.
In order to help keep the number of euthanized pets down, Animal Services suggests researching how to be responsible pet owners, get your pets from animal shelters, spay and neuter, regulary check your fenced yard to make sure there aren't any dug holes, regularly take your pet to the vet, and have then well trained in order to ensure they are a positive addition to your community.
"If you feel sorry for animals in animal shelters, then go adopt one when you're ready for your next pet."