Garland Announces Enhancements to Animal Services Department
GARLAND, Texas – December 10, 2010 – The City of Garland is implementing an expansion and improvement of its humane animal services policies. Garland Animal Services has created a new partnership with Garland Pawsibilities, a local nonprofit group dedicated to finding good homes for adoptable animals, to open a new Pet Adoption Center. The center will be located at Shiloh Road and Kingsley at a former fire station.
“Having Garland Pawsibilities and its volunteers partnering with us to further increase pet adoptions is invaluable,” said William Dollar, Garland’s City Manager. “Their passion and dedication will help further the successful efforts of the Garland Animal Shelter. I can think of no better use for an idle city facility than making it into a place for families to find a new pet.”
Garland Pawsibilities will begin hosting adoption events at the new Center in January of 2011. Adrianne Erwin, spokesperson for Garland Pawsibilities said, “We hold a number of adoption events around Garland every year. This new facility gives us an easy to find location to host additional events, as well as helps in our fundraising efforts. We believe the new center will greatly enhance our efforts to place animals in loving homes.”
The City of Garland has been searching for a pet adoption partner since the beginning of the year and will support the effort with veterinarian assistance, supplies, and as many animals as Garland Pawsibilities is able to place for adoption.
Although animal placements at the Garland Animal Shelter increased 30% this year, the City continues to stress that spaying and neutering pets is the most effective way to reduce the number of animals that come into the Animal Shelter every year. Planned outreach events in 2011 are intended to increase awareness on this issue.
Animal Euthanasia Procedure Altered
The new partnership with Pawsibilities is the final step in a series of advances that enables Animal Services to eliminate the current carbon monoxide procedure used to euthanize feral or dangerous animals. The new three step process, developed by Animal Shelter staff with guidance from City veterinarian Dr. Robert Osborne, ensures the safety of the Shelter employees by first securing the animal. The animal is then calmed by administering a sedation drug before sodium pentobarbital is injected in the final step. Staff developed the procedure after months of evaluating methods used in other shelters. Animal Services employees have been fully trained on the new method.
“No one likes the fact that animals have to be put to sleep, but properly managing dangerous and diseased animals is a matter of public safety,” said Jason Chessher, Deputy Director of Health. “With this injection-based process, we have extra measures in place to ensure Shelter employees are protected from dangerous animals while at the same time ensuring humane treatment of the animal. Although feral and aggressive animals do not like to be handled, we believe the new process will be able to make their passing as tranquil as when they drifted to sleep under our prior carbon monoxide methodology.”
Dollar said, “Our animal control policy has always strived to balance three principles: public protection, staff safety, and humane treatment. This change in process demonstrates that when groups such as Pawsibilities work with the City in a positive and productive way, outcomes can be achieved which are satisfactory to both parties.”
The City expects to have the procedure fully implemented by the end of January. This change represents one more revision in the constant process of evaluating and improving all aspects of Garland Animal Services.
Garland Mayor Ronald E. Jones was pleased with the comprehensive approach, saying “The City Council wisely gave staff time to put all the pieces into place rather than responding with half-solutions. We’ve been searching for the best possible combination of agency partners and practices for more than 18 months. The steps we announce today increase animal adoptions, protect our citizens and maintain the most humane animal control policy possible.”