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Pet projects

Adoptions on rise at animal shelters in Seneca County

February 15, 2014
By Erika Platt-Handru - Staff Writer ( , The Advertiser-Tribune

Adoption rates at Seneca County Humane Society and Seneca County Dog Warden's office have been on the upswing.

At the humane society, adoptions average two or three a week, with dogs a more popular pick for potential owners, said Lisa Kagy, a registered veterinarian technician at the Seneca County Humane Society.

"We've had a really good success rate with dogs," Kagy said.

Just a few weeks ago, the number of dogs at the humane society was down to four, she said.

"Cats, we always have," she said. "There's just more cats in the neighborhood."

Kagy said the humane society should be a first choice for those looking for a new pet, not only because it's inexpensive, but because the animals come spayed or neutered, are up-to- date on vaccines and are treated for fleas and de-wormed. Dogs cost $90 and cats cost $80, she said.

"It's a pretty good bargain," Kagy said.

"We obviously advocate for adoption," she said. "There's a big over-population with both dogs and cats, and if you adopt from here, you remedy the problem rather than propagate it."

Kagy said the humane society does not have a lot of returns, but occasionally, an owner will return a dog or cat.

"Every once in a while, we get a dog or cat back that didn't work out," she said.

Even more rarely, some unusual animals make their way to the humane society. Kagy said animals the humane society has previously taken in include ferrets, birds, rabbits, peacocks and even a goat.

"We take just about everything," she said.

At the dog warden's office, adoption rates also have climbed, while euthanization rates have been on the downswing.

Kelly Marker, Seneca County dog warden, said so far this year, 30 dogs have been taken in and none have had to have been euthanized. Last year, 257 dogs were taken in and 37 of those were euthanized. In 2010, of the 328 dogs taken in, 103 were euthanized, she said. Euthazinations most often occur to dogs that are sick or that have attacked. Court-ordered euthanizations also occur.

"The adoptable dogs we try to hold them until we can place it," Marker said.

As euthanizations were on the decline in the last three years, adoption rates and the number of dogs returned to their owners have increased. Marker attributed those numbers to online advertisement of available dogs and to owners having dog licenses.

"Have a license is a guaranteed ticket home for your dog," she said.

If a dog has a license, the owner can quickly be looked up on the auditor's office web site, Marker said, and many times, a dog with a license is returned to its owner before it even reaches her office.

Marker said many times when owners lose their dogs, they don't think to turn to the dog warden's office. A call to the office, however, should be one of the owner's first steps in locating their dog.

In placing adoptable dogs, Marker said, a lot of the success depends on online networking. She said the agency uses Web sites such as Facebook and Petfinder, and through those sites, dogs have found homes all over the country.

"One dog went to Maine last year," she said. "Our dogs go all over; they don't just stay in Seneca County."

"We do really well at getting our dogs homes," she added.



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