The dogs and cats that come to the Louisa County Animal Shelter don’t usually get to stay very long.
The shelter population has dropped so much because staff now try to relocate pets to new homes quickly, working with animal rescue groups here and in neighboring counties.
Because of these efforts, the shelter now has one of the lowest euthanasia rates in the state, at 3.8 percent of the 1,328 animals brought in, according to Jeff Ferrel, the county’s general services director. That’s down from nearly 40 percent of 1,820 animals in 2011.
“We don’t euthanize at all unless it’s required by law” for public safety reasons, Ferrel said, or if an animal is critically ill or injured.
“The numbers are going down,” he said, “not because there aren’t more animals, but because the staff is finding community groups who have the resources to keep them. If they don’t come to us, we don’t have to find some place to house them.”
Among the groups with which the shelter works closely are the Louisa Humane Society and SNAP (Spay Neuter All Pets).
“The rate of euthanasia has dropped in direct proportion to the efforts to get the animals out,” Michelle Forrest, the humane society’s president, said.
Diane Miller, who was hired to oversee the shelter in 2013, has been the key influencer in bringing down the kill rate.
To read the entire story, see the March 16 edition of The Central Virginian.