Senator wants animal shelters to publish kill rates - FOX 13 News

Senator wants animal shelters to publish kill rates

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Photo: Tanya Arja / FOX 13 Photo: Tanya Arja / FOX 13

Every year, roughly 250,000 dogs and cats are euthanized in Florida.

They are staggering numbers that one Florida Senator is pushing to change.

Senator Joe Abruzzo introduced a bill to force animal shelters to post information on how many animals they take in a month and how many are put down.

"You need to have steps and the first step is logically, let's get the statistics so we know truly how many dogs and cats we're putting down. At the end of the day, it's all about saving their lives," Senator Abruzzo said.

Senator Abruzzo hopes by people seeing the number of animals euthanized, they'd be more willing to adopt an animal and save its life.

Most Hillsborough County animal shelters say they already post their numbers. Sherry Silk, with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, say it's an issue of transparency.

"It tells how many intakes we've done. how many returned to owners, or how many adoptions were done or how many euthanizations were done," Silk said.

Silk believes it raises awareness, of the problem.

"We are all for people getting animals from a shelter or rescue group rather than a pet store."

At Hillsborough Animal Services, they've been working to get their numbers of euthanized animals down.

They increased their hours and are now open seven days a week.The hope is that it gives people more time to come in and look for their new family member.

And it seems to be working.This fiscal year, out of 1,519 animals, 47 percent were put down.

But compare that to last year, where 62 percent of animals were euthanized.

"In general, the population is not aware of how many animals are euthanized every year here," said Hillsborough Animal Services Director Ian Hallett.

They used to have their numbers on line. The county recently redid their website. So Hallet is working to get those numbers back on the website.

He believes showing the number of animals euthanized does give people a reason to come to them to adopt.

"It does encourage them to adopt. A lot of people like to help animals. And if they know animals are not just being euthanized, but they are available for adoption here and also what a good deal it is, I think they'll come here."

Genny Berube found herself at Hillsborough Animal Services on Wednesday morning. She already has a dog. But last week, a lab mix, showed up in her yard.

She brought it to Animal services thinking the owner might be looking for her.

But Genny got bad news when she dropped her off.

"I was told that if I brought her here that she would be euthanized within a certain amount of days."

The days came and no one claimed the pooch.So Gennie decided she wasn't willing to let the dog be killed.


She came back just as the clock was running out, named the dog "Ally" and took her home.

"Look at this baby, look at her. It's not her fault that she was abused. So now we are going to go home and start a happy life"

But with only 50% of the cases ending in a happy life, Senator Abruzzo wants to change that.

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