Number of animals dropped off at shelter not slowing this year

Jul. 31, 2013 @ 06:43 PM

The Vance County Animal Shelter is seeing an upswing in the number of cats and dogs being surrendered to them for care, and if it were not for rescue and adoption work, many more would be put do death.

Frankie Nobles, Vance County’s chief of animal control, said that 2012 saw 4,300 animals taken in. That pace is holding up so far for 2013 without the trapping efforts to get strays.

“We have not been putting out the traps because of the rain,” Nobles said. “We have been seeing a lot more surrenders. We have seen an increase in the last six months of last year and so far this year. People are not as able to afford to keep them.”

The averages including for trapping of stray and feral cats numbered about 350 each month, according to Nobles. Counted so far for the month of July was 315.

Some of the cats and dogs were taken north, mostly to Pennsylvania or New Jersey, as a part of rescue efforts, Nobles said. With that plus local adoptions and rescues, the numbers on euthanizations for dogs held steady at about 10 for each of the last several months.

“Most go out of state,” Nobles said. “We’re trying our best not to do that.”

Nobles said the method of euthanization has changed from use of gas to what is called a “heart stick.”

“We do not use a gas chamber anymore, since November,” he said. “We use a lethal injection. It is an injection into the heart.”

The shelter is open Mondays, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon, offering adoptions and rabies vaccinations. The shots are $5 for cats and dogs aged 4 months or older. Vance County requires dogs to have a $2 tag.

More information is available from the shelter at (252) 492-3136 by phone or email at vancepets@vancecounty.org online.

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.