How you can help reduce it even more
In 2008, Walton County had a euthanasia rate of 94 % in cats and 70 % in dogs and as a result was considered a “high kill” shelter. Today, the statistics are greatly improved, especially for dogs.
In 2020, the rate for cats was down to 65 % and the rate for dogs was down to 18 %. The rate considered “no kill” for a shelter is a 90 % survival rate or a 10 % euthanasia rate. Walton County Animal Shelter is only 8 % above that for dogs at this time. However, the higher rate for cats will make it difficult to get it down to that level shelter-wide. The rate for cats is higher in 2020 than it was in 2019, when it had got down to 57 %.
“COVID shut down a lot of the remote cat adoption centers and resulted in less cats being pulled from our shelter by rescues. But since most of our dog adoptions/rescues are internet based, they weren’t really affected by COVID,” said Bill Wise, former Walton County Animal Control director and current shelter manager and rescue co-ordinator. “Included in the euthanasia are bite cases, sick/injured animals, and animals where owners paid for euthanasia services.”
In May last year, Shawn Morris took over as Animal Control director and Wise moved to working full-time as shelter manager and rescue co-ordinator. Wise said at the time the move would enable him to dedicate 100% of his time in working with the adopters, rescues, cross-posters and sponsors who support the shelter. Since becoming director in 2009, Wise had managed to significantly reduce the rates.
Walton County Animal Control is a government-run animal control facility and because it is an open-intake “pound” for strays and owner surrenders, it is difficult to attain a no kill status. However, they can help keep the euthanasia rate as low as possible. When you adopt or rescue from Walton County Animal Control facility, you are saving a dog or cat from being euthanized. If you can’t adopt yourself, you can share the posts on social media or forward to someone who you know may be able to adopt.
- Any animal shelter or rescue with a live release rate of at least 90% may legally be designated a “no-kill” entity.
- A no-kill shelter may euthanize up to 10% of its population and maintain its no-kill status.
- San Francisco became the first no-kill city in 1994.
- In 2019, Delaware became the first no-kill state.
- The world’s oldest no-kill shelters are in India.
Christy Breedlove wrote an article on Wise and the Walton County Animal Shelter for the 2018 Fall Winter issue of Walton Living. Click or tap on the link to learn more about the shelter.