Locals volunteer to save animal control adoptables from euthanasia

Locals volunteer to save animal control adoptables from euthanasia

A Columbus Animal Care and Control dog wears an “adopt me” harness at the Holly Jolly market on Dec. 9. (Olivia Yepez)

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Local volunteers are hard at work trying to get former strays into loving homes to save these pets’ lives. A volunteer corps of about 20 regular members has been using their free time, social media and more to get animals out of Columbus Animal Care and Control Center and save them from euthanasia.

So far, the team has saved 59 dogs from euthanasia, according to Sherry Ziegler, a regular volunteer at the shelter. Despite their efforts, strays continue to come in faster than animal control can get them adopted or transferred to no-kill shelters.

“Unfortunately, that’s what’s happening,” said Ziegler, who began volunteering in August of this year.

Ziegler worries part of the problem comes from a lack of awareness about the functions of Animal Care and Control. Unlike other local shelters such as Paws Humane and Animal Ark Rescue, Columbus Animal Care and Control Center is not a no-kill shelter.

This is a lesson Ziegler found out the hard way when she found a stray dog and, unable to care for the pet, gave it up to Columbus Animal Care and Control Center. Days after the dog’s adoption period had closed, Ziegler found out it had been euthanized after failing to be adopted.

“After crying for three days and guilt-stricken for that, I decided I would make a difference,” Ziegler said.

She now volunteers at Columbus Animal Care and Control Center most weekdays and weekends in an effort to help get animals adopted. Ziegler and other volunteers are also active on social media posting photos and brief information about dogs currently at animal control to get them more exposure.

Other local no-kill shelters also take in pets from animal control when they have space, but it isn’t always possible.

“Paws pulls what they can – what they have room for, but it’s not enough,” Ziegler said. “[Animal control] still euthanize[s] for space.”

Although animal control volunteers were able to get six dogs adopted from the shelter over the past weekend, four dogs were still euthanized last week after capacity was reached, said Ziegler.

Adoptions from Columbus Animal Care and Control Center cost $75 for dogs which are not spayed or neutered. The cost includes a $50 voucher for a spay or neuter operation, which is required for all pets adopted from the shelter or animal control to reduce the volume of incoming strays.

Those not in a position to adopt can still help animal control directly and indirectly. Ziegler suggested contacting a shelter such as Paws about fostering a dog if someone has the resources to house a pet temporarily and open up room in the shelter.

Additionally, she said people are always free to share information about animal control adoptable pets on social media or donate treats or other items.

“We dress a baby with a collar and a leash when they’re adopted, so we always are needing those,” said Ziegler.

For more information about adoptable pets and opportunities, visit the Columbus Animal Care and Control website.

Locals volunteer to save animal control adoptables from euthanasia

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