This looks like nothing more than a scheme to reduce shelter admissions, with what looks like little thought given to community or animal needs. This won’t reduce the need for shelter services, just limit the number of animals and residents that receive the services. The real answer? Increase the shelter’s capacity to serve, but put a happy face on what is likely to be a reduction in services.
Abilene Animal Services is changing the way it does animal intake, limiting hours and requiring owners to surrender pets by appointment only, beginning Tuesday.
The shelter, according to a news release from the city, is implementing the Best Friends Animal Society’s recommended managed intake procedures. Best Friends is a “prominent nationwide animal rescue and advocacy organization that performed an assessment of the Abilene shelter in June of this year,” according to the city’s news release. That report noted that Abilene’s animal shelter “has a per capita intake nearly double even many high-intake shelters.”
“Shelter policies have made it very easy for both residents and non-residents to surrender animals to the shelter,” the report states.
The new managed intake procedures are: Intake Hours will be Mondays –Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Owners may only surrender their pets by appointment only.
Those from outside of city limits who want to bring animals the Abilene shelter must make an appointment.
“There are days at the shelter when we experience an intake of over 80 cats and dogs,” Animal Services Director Mirenda Walden said in a statement Monday.
“We still want to provide intake services to the public but request that owners make an appointment to surrender their pets,” she said. “It is often a difficult decision to surrender a pet to the shelter and by limiting those surrendered each day, it will give your pet a better chance of a positive outcome.
”Hours at the shelter will be modified slightly to focus on daily care of the animals there, the statement said.
Its operating hours will now be Mondays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and closed from 2 to 3 p.m. for cleaning. The change will allow “for a more efficient cleaning of the shelter in the afternoon,” according to the city.