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Effort could offer clues to becoming no-kill shelter

BY BRYAN DEAN Published: April 21, 2009
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No one is sure how many dogs would have to be spayed or neutered to dramatically reduce the number of animals coming to the Oklahoma City animal shelter.

Thanks to a $10,000 grant from PetSmart Charities to sterilize dogs in Del City, the answer may be coming soon.

Del City has one animal control officer and no shelter, so it has contracted with Oklahoma City since 1972 to house strays.

Catherine English, superintendent of Oklahoma City’s animal shelter, said the relationship is giving Oklahoma City the chance to learn the answer to a burning question as it tries to become a "no-kill” shelter, meaning no adoptable animals would be euthanized.

"We’re trying to figure out how many animals you have to sterilize to see a measurable decrease in the number of animals coming into the shelter,” she said.

English said the city looked to PetSmart Charities, which often awards grants for sterilizing specific problem areas. The $10,000 grant will pay for spaying or neutering 571 dogs, about 12 percent of Del City’s entire estimated dog population.

Del City Manager Mark Edwards said he’s hopeful the effort will make a big difference in stray totals.

"We only cover eight square miles, and we spend well over $100,000 a year in animal control,” he said. "That is way too much. People want animal control, but they don’t want to control their animals.


HOT TO GET HELP
The spay/neutering program will be open to Del City dog owners who can show they qualify for state or federal public aid of any kind. To make an appointment to have your dog spayed or neutered, call Best Friends of Shelter Pets at 629-6795 or Volunteers for Animal Welfare at 606-8476.

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