Sunday, October 16, 2005

Alachua County Animal Services

Three little kittens wait to be adopted Saturday at the Alachua County Animal Sevices adoption center. As young cats they have a better probability of being adopted than the older cats. On Saturday alone Alachua County Animal Services rescued 13 (need to double check this number) abused cats from one owner and is planning to file charges against the owner. "Unfortunately it happens more than we'd like, " program director Bob Ryan said concerning the number of times animal services files animal abuse charges. Saturday's rescue left animal services over flowing with cats. There were so many cats they were having to be left in little carriers for there were no empty cages.

Kallie, a 5-month-old Labrador Retriever mix, begs for attention by barking and jumping up on the front of her cage. She was surrendered by her former owner for unknown causes. Now she awaits adoption or euthanization. On Saturday, a local woman brought in 18 dogs to be taken by animal services. She claimed they were strays she had been taking care of, but now animal services had a surplus of dogs and little room for any more. Program director Bob Ryan spent half his time Saturday trying to bump up dogs that had spent their required 72-business-hours quarentine after intake to the adoption cages to open up space for the 18 new dogs that could hopefully be adopted out later in the week. Picking up stray dogs and cats is one just one way animal services receives animals. Many animals are brought in by owners that no longer want or can care for their pets. The annual statistic of animal survival at Alachua County Animal Services is roughly half the animals taken in will be euthanized. Although the number of intaken animals is on the decrease in recent years the survival rate hasn't changed.

University of Florida Vet School volunteer Dinora Quiles, in the dark shirt, walks towards two people interested in adopting a dog Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately adoption time had ended by the time the people had made up their minds. They promised to return on Tuesday, the next day Alachua County Animal Services would be open, to adopt their new pet. Quiles was excited they had decided to adopt that specific dog because it had an extra label, "New Hope," on its cage indicating its time was running out for adoption and it would soon be euthanized if not adopted. Quiles said when she volunteers she always tries to push the "New Hope" animals first because it could be their last chance to be saved. She also said the "New Hope" animals are discounted to encourage adoption.

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