LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The summer months typically mean more animals coming into Kurth Memorial Animal Shelter and with the current euthanasia rate at 62 percent that means many of those animals will be on death row.
Although the percentage seems high the East Texas News learned that the number of animals euthanized has decreased over the past 10 years.
Kurth Memorial Animal Shelter director, Aaron Ramsey said, "Right now our euthanasia rate is 62 percent."
But while that number seems daunting Ramsey said they have actually made a lot of progress over the years to help that number decline.
"Five or six years ago the numbers were in the range of the upper 70s even 80 percent so we're actually making progress," said Ramsey. "It's been slow but I think we're headed in the right direction. We all agree that the number is high and we need to do everything we can do to reduce that number and it's really going to take a community effort."
So what's the largest contributing factor to high euthanasia numbers?
"The biggest problem that we see in the county and this area is just a failure to spay and neuter," said Ramsey.
Ramsey says the shelter staff, volunteers and countless animal lovers in the community work very hard to curb these high numbers by getting animals into homes and working with rescues.
"We have a responsibility here at the shelter to offer those programs and do everything that we can to find an alternative to euthanasia and it's also on the citizens and the community spaying and neutering their pets," said Ramsey.
But in the end the only way to keep the euthanasia numbers down involves help from the community. First by having your pets altered. Right away. Don't wait. Microchip your pets and always have collars and ID tags and lastly don't let your pets roam around.
Kurth Memorial Animal Shelter is currently housing about 250 animals. Ramsey said that adoptions are about 10 percent down for this time of year but rescues are up.