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'Keep Them Home' initiative begins at San Angelo Animal Shelter to help with influx of dogs

Intake for San Angelo Animal Services continues to outpace outcomes with 25% more dogs brought in this month-to-date, compared to the same period last year.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — The San Angelo Animal Shelter launched the "Keep Them Home" initiative to help lower the amount of dogs at the shelter.

There has been an overcapacity of dogs for most of this year. As of Monday, June 20, the shelter had 292 dogs in its care. The shelter's limit, however, is 285.

Euthanizing dogs has been needed at the shelter to help lower capacity after becoming a no-kill community in 2021.

A recent study by Frontiers in Veterinary Science shows 70% of dogs year after year are found within a mile of their home. Adoptions and fostering have been efficient, according to the City of San Angelo, but even more help is needed from the community.

"For sure, that citizen had a failure. For sure, that dog shouldn't be wandering loose. But taking that time to hold onto the dog for a minute and get to know your neighbors posted in your Nextdoor app, walk it that evening, try to match with people. Someone will say hey, that's so-and-so's dog in the blue house two doors down and that way that is a happy ending for the pet. It doesn't have the stress of a shelter intake and is a happy ending for the family,” COSA Animal Services Neighborhood Services Assistant Director Morgan Chegwidden explained. 

So, what the shelter recommends is if someone finds a stray dog, consider housing it for 48 hours to keep it in its home neighborhood and avoid limiting resources at the shelter. The shelter is hoping this initiative will help avoid any more dogs from having to enter the shelter. 

“You can gauge that situation and say, you know, I've seen that dog running loose a lot. Let's get it into the shelter. Or that neighbor is usually pretty good about keeping up their property appropriately. We can assume that it is sent to their pets as well. So just just give him the benefit of the doubt and being neighborly is how we're going to get through this,” Chegwidden said. 

For more information on the animals at the shelter, you can go in person from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at 3142 US Hwy 67N; or visit cosatx.us/animals

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