Oklahoma City Animal Shelter struggles to deal with stolen, missing animals
Oklahoma City Animal Shelter workers and volunteers are usually happy about people taking pets home from the shelter. But not when they're stolen.
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Jul 13A small percentage of animals kept at the Oklahoma City...
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A small percentage of the roughly 29,000 animals that the shelter takes in each year are stolen or wind up missing.
Eight animals were confirmed stolen in the fiscal year that ended June 30, and some of the 171 animals listed as missing also could have been stolen, shelter manager Jon Gary said.
Some of the animals on the missing list could be there because of computer coding errors, but not all of them. And sometimes witnesses or evidence can show that an animal was actually stolen.
“Unless we know for sure they were stolen, we don't list them as that,” Gary said.
Small dogs, puppies and kittens are the most likely to be stolen because their small size makes them easier to conceal, Gary said.
“We've had a couple of instances where we had a large dog they put on a leash and walked out the front door with it, and because we have so many dogs coming and going, they were able to do it,” he said.
Adoption areas are behind unlocked doors during adoption hours at the shelter, which is open every day but holidays.
The shelter does not have a video surveillance system, and the front lobby area is often busy with people looking to adopt or for lost pets.
The shelter misses out on the $50 adoption fee for each stolen pet, but a greater worry is whether someone who would steal an animal is less likely to provide it with a happy and safe home life.
Christy Counts, president of the Central Oklahoma Humane Society, works closely with the city animal shelter on several joint initiatives.
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