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Kurth Memorial Animal Shelter releases 2021 statistics to be transparent with community

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 6:01 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2022 at 6:28 PM CST
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - The Kurth Memorial Animal shelter released public statistics from the past year in an effort to be transparent with the community. In the statistics, Leslie Anders, a volunteer with the shelter, said they took in a total of 4,665 animals for the whole calendar year in 2021. This averages to about 90 animals per week. Anders said she was shocked to see how many more animals they received in 2021 as compared to 2020.

“Animal surrenders increased drastically in 2021 so I would make the assumption that perhaps a lot of folks were home in 2020. Our adoption rate was higher in 2020 and so we had a lot of adoptions, a lot of people acquiring animals when COVID first started in 2020 and then as 2021 progressed some folks started going back to work back to school and could no longer care for them,” Anders said.

Aaron Ramsey, the director of animal services, said some of these animals come from outside communities.

“Rural areas like this are very very tough. We’re surrounded by counties that don’t have an animal services program or don’t have a shelter or a place for these animals to go,” Ramsey said.

There was a total of 1,507 animals euthanized in 2021 and 674 animals were adopted.

“For 2020, the euthanasia rate was about 42 percent; now, some of those were due to space or time, but some were due to health or temperament, unfortunately. But the numbers decreased rapidly in 2021 to 32 percent euthanasia rates and a lot of that was due to increased efforts from rescue coordinators,” Anders said.

Ramsey said euthanasia is emotionally challenging for the volunteer and staff members.

The shelter’s overall goal for this year is to decrease intake from Angelina County and increase the live release rate overall.

One of the most important things a pet owner can do is spay or neuter their pet .

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