The number of lost and stray animals being euthanized in Wichita has dropped significantly over the past several years, according to a new annual report from Wichita Animal Services.
Wichita Animal Services takes in anywhere from 9,000 to almost 11,000 animals every year. In 2009, the department euthanized almost half of those animals.
Last year, though, the euthanasia rate in Wichita was 22 percent. Cpt. Brent Allred with the Wichita Police Department, which oversees animal control, says they hold animals for up to 6 days—3 more days than state law requires.
“The additional days do require more staff time to clean cages and care for the animals, but we’re also returning more animals back to their owners," he told Wichita City Council members Tuesday.
Allred also credited the improvement to better relationships with local rescue groups, and new technology to reunite families with their lost pets. Nearly 80 percent of animals picked up last year were reclaimed or transferred to a rescue group.
City Councilwoman Janet Miller said it seems like the changes Wichita Animal Services has made are "making real change."
"It finally seems to me that in the past year, we're really starting to get creative and serious about making meaningful change as opposed to just sort of decorating around the edges, and sort of keeping the basic system we've had and cleaning t up," she said. "This seems to be really getting to the heart of some issues."
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