“We have almost doubled our adoption rate,” said Melissa Hull, shelter manager for the Animal Shelter of Pell City Inc.
Hull said from Jan. 1-July 24, 2011, the ASPCI handled 338 adoptions. From Jan. 1-July 24, 2012, the ASPCI handled 608 adoptions.
“We participated in the National Adopt-A-Cat Month in June where our adoption fee for cats and kittens was $25 less,” she said. “It was so successful we’ve extended it through the end of August.”
Hull said she believes a number of factors account for the increase in adoptions.
“We have been more active in the community, we have a very strong Facebook presence, and we have a new website, www.stclairanimalshelter.org,” she said.
Hull said the ASPCI has also extended its off-site mobile adoptions.
“We are at the PetSmart in Trussville every Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and at the PetSmart in Oxford every other Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.,” she said. “We also provide cats to PetSmart in both locations that are there until they are adopted. We maintain about 15 cats at the PetSmart locations, and that has been very successful.”
Hull said the adoption fee for cats is $100 and covers a feline leukemia test with negative result, FVRCP vaccine, deworming, flea preventative, rabies vaccine or certificate for vaccine at no expense if animal is under age, spay or neuter and microchipping.
The fee for dogs is $125 and covers everything the same as cats, however instead of the feline leukemia test the dogs receive a heartworm test.
The ASPCI also offers SNAP certificates for discount spaying and neutering.
“We sell about 100-125 SNAP certificates each month,” she said.
Hull said SNAP certificates are $35 for cats and $50 for dogs.
“You can also buy a vaccinations voucher for $35, but that is only available with the purchase of a SNAP certificate,” she said. “The SNAP certificates are available to anyone in St. Clair County and Lincoln.”
Hull said the ASPCI’s target level is 150 animals at the shelter.
“We try to keep it there so we can provide them with the proper level of care,” she said.
Hull said the ASPCI has undergone some renovations.
“We have the new bonding room, where potential owners can see the pet in a more quiet atmosphere,” she said. “We also encourage people thinking of adopting a pet to bring their family. If they have a pet, we encourage them to bring that pet so they can see how the two animals get along. We want it to be a family decision — it’s all about making that connection.”
Hull said the ASPCI is still working to put together a fostering program, and has increased animal placements through rescue agencies.
For more information call the Animal Shelter of Pell City Inc. at 205-814-1567.
Karen Phillips, director of Public Works and Animal Control for the city of Talladega, said Talladega Animal Control is not a shelter but a control facility that addresses issues of animal neglect, vicious animals and animals running at large in city limits. The city contracts with Talladega County to provide animal control to all unincorporated areas of Talladega County and focuses mainly on neglect, abandonment and vicious animals, since the county does not have a leash law.
“Our current facility has capacity to handle about 20-25 cats and 20-30 dogs, depending on size,” she said. “On average, our facility handles approximately 215 animals each month.”
Phillips said in 2011, Talladega Animal Control took in 2,440 animals and adopted or transferred out 234. For the first six months of 2011, the intake was 1,299 animals and they adopted and transferred out 153 animals.
“For the first six months of 2012, we have had an intake of 1,371 animals and we have adopted or transferred out 42 animals,” she said. “Our adoptions are down, and we are trying to work on ways to increase that number. But it is important to note that of the total animals we intake, approximately 70 percent of these animals are sick, injured or aggressive and are not available for adoption.”
Phillips said Talladega Animal Control works with 20-25 rescue groups and is always seeking other agencies and rescues to work with. Any organization that would like to work with Talladega Animal Control can contact Phillips at 420 George Holdridge Lane, Talladega, AL 35160 or by email at email@example.com.
Phillips said current adoption rates are $85 for dogs and $75 for cats. The fee includes spay or neuter, first viral vaccines, veterinarian check, rabies vaccination, fecal testing and deworming.
“We are currently wrapping up an ASPCA grant for rabies vaccination that started in February of this year,” she said. “The city received a grant to provide low-cost rabies vaccinations for $5 each for about 350 animals. We currently have approximately 50 vaccinations left that we are offering until we close out our grant at the end of August or until these vaccinations are gone.”
Phillips said the city also just signed a contract with Davis Builders to proceed with approximately $50,000 of capital improvements, which will increase the capacity by approximately 30 dogs. These improvements will include two 15-by-18-foot outside general population pens, five 4-by-8-foot covered kennels, the refurbishment of 22 indoor kennels complete with lighting and new gates, and ventilation. The work is scheduled to begin the first week of August.
For more information, call Talladega Animal Control at 256-362-5856.
Joe Richardson, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Animal Rescue Foundation in Sylacauga, said ARF has reduced adoption fees during the summer to help increase adoptions.
“Our adoption fees are typically $100 for dogs and cats, but we have reduced that fee to $75 to encourage adoptions,” he said.
Richardson said the adoption fee covers spay or neuter, first shots, deworming and rabies vaccination.
“Our adoption rate is increasing,” he said.
Richardson said there were 85 adoptions during the entire 2011 year. From Jan. 1-June 30, 2012, the shelter has adopted out 72 animals.
“That is nearly a 50 percent increase in adoptions and we still have the rest of the year left,” he said.
Richardson said if the current number of adoptions continues, the shelter will have a much better adoption rate this year.
“The current shelter was built about eight years ago,” he said. “It is a city-owned facility, so it is up to the city to renovate it. The city made improvements about four to five years ago, but we need heating and ventilation renovations at this time.”
Richardson said ARF is also trying to increase the number of outdoor dog runs, so the dogs could be let out during the day to facilitate cleaning the indoor pens.
“We continue to battle the heat, especially with the newborn litters of puppies and kittens,” he said. “And the shelter is overcrowded, at double capacity.”
Richardson said the shelter has 56 dog kennels and 25 cat cages, although some can hold more than one animal.
He said ARF is in discussions with the city of Sylacauga regarding a number of issues.
“That is the first issue on our plate — our relationship with the city of Sylacauga,” he said.
Richardson said the next priority is to meet with other local animal shelters.
“I think it would be a good idea for the local non-profit shelters to meet periodically and share best practices and ideas for fundraising,” he said. “I think that would be a benefit for us all.”
For more information, call the Anima Rescue Foundation in Sylacauga at 256-245-2500.