Year After SVASC Opens Costs are Down, But More Pets Need Homes
One year after Augusta County, Staunton, and Waynesboro opened their own regional animal pound, they are reporting real money savings. But staffers there are focused on keeping dogs and cats healthier, and finding more of them homes.
On a given day, seven or eight adult dogs and three dozen cats can come in the front door of the Shenandoah Valley Animal Service Center (SVASC). Many will arrive with illnesses or a history of aggression, making it tough to keep all of them healthy and adoptable.
During its first year of operation, the regional pound took in about 2,600 stray and owner-release animals. Less than 10 percent of the dogs and just over half the cats had to be euthanized - sometimes because there is no room for all of them.
Lauren Maddox, the service center director, says the goal is to keep all animals until they're adopted. "That's not always possible, being a space issue. But we network, we send to other rescues. We're open to out-of-state adoptions, out-of-state rescues, you know anything to keep them moving. It just depends on their health and their temperament and the space that we currently have," she said.
The service center's first-year operating costs were $270,000. That's slightly higher than budgeted, but far less than what the local governments used to pay the Augusta SPCA.
The Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center is currently above its 100 cat capacity, and as a result, offering free cat adoptions for a limited time. Click here for more information about adoptions.
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