Metro animal control taking steps to lower kill rate - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Metro animal control taking steps to lower kill rate

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Metro Animal Care and Control says it has significantly reduced the number of euthanizations at its facility after past outcry from animal rights groups.

"More animals are going out the front door than the back, and that's what we intended all along to do," said Bill Biggs, field operations supervisor at Metro animal control.

Officials say they have lowered the euthanasia rate by 9 percent from this time last year, when the kill rate had risen to 78 percent and drew calls from animal rights groups for town hall meetings and petitions.

The current kill rate is lower, but is still a grim 69 percent.

"We just want to continue to work and get it low as we can," Biggs said.

To lower that number, Metro animal control has made several changes, including forming a new partnership with certified non-profit rescue groups for the first time.

Rescue groups used to have to wait two weeks to adopt animals, but now there is no wait period, and through the partnership, rescue groups get half-off adoption prices.

Regular adoption rates are $90 for dogs and $60 for cats, but the facility often runs special rates. For instance, now until Oct. 4, cats 1 year and older are just $5 while animals with special needs are $15.

"It's really making a difference," Biggs said.

The agency also offers spay and neuter surgeries for just $10.

Back in May, they also started allowing the adoption of pit bulls aged 6 months and younger.

"Our adoption rates have been crazy good," Biggs said.

But, officials inside the agency admit there's still a long way to go.

"Some days, we take in more than we adopt out, so that's a contributing factor," Biggs said.

Another way Metro animal control is working to lower its kill rate is by seeking certification that would allow it to adopt out pit bulls older than 6 months.

For now, adult pit bulls that aren't claimed by the owner within three days are euthanized.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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