On any given day the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter is full of dogs and cats waiting for new homes, or for their owners to be reunited with them.
But some cities don't have those problems. Some don't have enough adoptable dogs to meet the demand. The Central Oklahoma Humane Society's Homeward Bound program is designed to help get pets where they are needed.
The Central Oklahoma Humane Society received a $25,000 innovation grant from the PedigreeFoundation to fund direct transfers of dogs in Oklahoma City to other shelters in the region.
The Central Oklahoma Humane Society and the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter partnered in 2006. Central Oklahoma City Humane Society director Christy Counts said at the beginning of that partnership, about 27 percent of animals that went into the shelter left alive. This year, that will happen for about 58 percent.
“Our goal is to increase the live release rate,” Counts said. “Live release rate includes adoptions, animals that are returned to their original owners, and transport of animals out of state to our other partner agencies in places like Colorado and Wisconsin.”
Counts said the grant funded about three trips to neighboring states per month over the last year. Transportation costs were about $650 per trip, which included fuel and putting two staffers up in a hotel. About 1,800 dogs were transported this year.