It Takes A County To Keep The Shelter Numbers Down
If it takes a village to raise a healthy, secure child, it takes a whole county to do so for its abondoned pets. Whether dogs and cats show up at the Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control as "owner surrender", "lost pet", or an uncontrolled pregnancy situation, Shelter Director Jan Steele, says the mission remains the same:
"No animal that comes in that has the possiblity of a good quality of life will ever be euthanized."
That's a nice goal. But, unfortunately, the number of intakes is staggering, creating a net population that sometimes has to be euthanized. Generally these are the pets that have behavioral or physical problems that make them poor candidates for future homes; sometimes these are pets brought in by their owners who request they be euthanized. The idea of putting any animal down often stigmatizes the shelter. But let's focus on the high number of shelter pets that do get released to permanent housing, and the ways to keep the shelter population low.
In 2021, over 5000 pets (dogs, cats, and other animals) were adopted by individuals or rescued by other local organizations. Of placements, over 2/3 were rescues by local groups typically run by volunteers! The PBACC works with over 68 different rescues. Some of these are breed-specific and some even transport the pets to other parts of the country. Darbster Foundation is an example of this: In 2021, Darbster rescued over 30 pets and moved many of them up north where adoptions were easier to accomplish.
Other local groups that rescued the highest number of pets in 2021 include Barky Pines, Dezzy's Second Chance, Durkees Rescue, Kibblez of Love, Love My Pitties, Mutty Paws, and Justin Bartlett Animal Rescue. And, to its credit, Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League pulled over 475 pets from the county shelter! Kudos to all these organizations for helping to keep the shelter population down!
By taking dogs and cats out of the shelter and putting them into foster homes, these rescues provide a more social, less frightening place for the pets to thrive. With one-on-one attention, the pet's medical and behavioral needs (if any) can be more easily recognized and tended to, and the pet's nurturing and socialization make them better long-term companions once a "furever home" is found.
In addition, the rescue groups and foster homes typically provide a larger array of foods, treats, supplements, and toys than the shelter can. PBACC is not allowed to do any fundraising, so its budget is limited. That doesn't mean they can't receive donations! (We have a PBACC Wishlist posted if you'd like to purchase anything for the shelter pets.)
Recently, the Wellington Chamber of Commerce sponsored a "Hooches & Hounds" night to raise awareness of the adoptable shelter dogs and to raise money for purchasing treats, toys and other enrichment items. We were honored to have them make their purchases at Jake's, and we made sure their money went a long way!!
See what you can do to help the PBACC Shelter: