Animal Rescue Groups Contribute to the Low Euthanasia Rates in Athens
Athenspets is a local animal rescue organizations whose efforts are keeping more animals from being put down. Less than 1% of the adoptable animals in the Athens Animal Shelter are killed because Athenspets helps to reduce overpopulation in these shelters. The mission of the organization is to find permanent homes for shelter animals. One way it accomplishes this mission is by posting profiles of shelter animals on the their website for anyone to see.
Although the euthanasia rate is low for the Athens Shelter, the rate increases when non-adoptable animals are included in the calculation. Animals considered non-adoptable usually are animals with health or behavioral issues. The Athenspets helps to eliminate the health issues of shelter animals by covering the medical costs that the county is unable to pay. Volunteers of the organization can also help to ease the behavioral problems by interacting with the animals at the shelter. Interaction with people makes the animals more adoptable because the they become used to human presence.
Some volunteers for Athenspets end up adopting the animals they spent time with in the shelter. Megan Hong adopted multiple pets due to her participation in the organization. She says it’s hard not to do anything when there are not enough cages for animals.
“…I think once you start following Athenspets and you kind of see how many cats and dogs they’re getting and how they don’t have cages left it’s hard not to want to do something.”
Athenspets also coordinates with another rescue group called Circle of Friends. This group fosters shelter animals who otherwise would be euthanized because of overpopulation.
The animal shelter has a lot to look forward to in the future. They intend on moving the the cat shelter to the same site of the dog shelter. The relocation will help reduce the operating costs of the shelter, which will allow them to offer more service to animals. The shelter is not certain when construction will be complete, but they intend to have it done before the end of this year.