NORTH FORSYTH — After some opening delays and policy debates, Forsyth County’s new animal shelter is up, running and posting better numbers than in previous years.
At its final meeting of 2014, the local animal control and shelter advisory committee reviewed the figures for 2014. For the months of September, October and November — or since the 13,700-square foot shelter opened in late August on County Way in north Forsyth — look stronger than the same period in 2013.
In those three months, 441 animals were taken in compared to 475 in 2013. Board member and Angels Among Us Pet Rescue CEO Lance White attributed the decline in animals to rescue groups and education.
“I will tell you that the number of intakes is going to be way down for this year compared to last year and the years before,” White said. “Every county is growing around us, so it’s good that a lot of the rescue groups have taken over some of the spaying and neutering for the county. That’s a big change in education.”
While intakes are down, the total number of animals adopted, rescued or returned to owner has risen to 260, 30 more animals than for the comparable period in 2013, which didn’t allow rescues.
Percentage-wise that means slightly less than 60 percent of all animals were taken out of the shelter compared to 48 percent last year.
Euthanasia number and rates also have declined in 2014. For those three months, 140 animals, or about 32 percent, were put down compared to that time period in 2013 when it was 210, or about 44 percent.
Animals have only been put down for medical reasons or aggression, but not for space, officials have said.
“I have it written down why we euthanized every single animal this month, and it’s due to either a medical reason or because it was aggressive,” said Jeanie Curphey, shelter coordinator. “We haven’t euthanized for space at all.”
Though the euthanasia rate is down, Deputy County Manager Tim Merritt reminded the group of a new detail.
“Keep in mind that we have to take whatever shows up at our door,” Merritt said. “We are having people bring in sick animals”
During the meeting, the committe also discussed policy changes and a new Facebook page that has been set and can be reached by searching for “Forsyth County Georgia Animal Shelter.”