Huntsville Animal Services saves lives in 2022, promotes spay/neuter
Published on January 12, 2023
Huntsville Animal Services found homes for more than 5,100 animals in 2022, representing a live-release rate of nearly 92% for the year.
It was the eighth consecutive year the shelter has achieved a save rate of over 90%, a benchmark of success set by animal welfare organizations across the U.S.
Director Karen Sheppard credits Mayor Tommy Battle and City Council for their continued support, which includes more than $2.6 million in facility enhancements over the past few years and funding for a spay/neuter program for low-income residents.
Even with this success, Sheppard remains focused on saving even more animals in Huntsville. To do so, she implores citizens to reduce the homeless pet population by simply spaying and neutering their animals.
“We sound like a broken record, but spaying and neutering pets saves lives,” she said. “Knowing we have to put an animal down due to illness, injury or even temperament is incredibly difficult for me and my staff and only done as a last resort. We make every effort to find permanent or temporary foster homes for each stray and owner surrender but need your help in making that happen.”
Sheppard said spaying and neutering ensures less euthanasia because fewer animals are surrendered or picked up by animal control officers. In 2022, Huntsville Animal Services took in 5,661 animals, up from 5,233 in 2021.
“Spaying and neutering is really the only way to break the cycle, and it’s a movement we hope the community will support,” she said.
Longtime City Council Member Bill Kling is a staunch supporter of the shelter’s spay/neuter program and will donate $25,000 of his District 4 discretionary funding toward the effort.
“I am glad to provide financial assistance that will be used to take steps necessary to reduce euthanizations of dogs and cats in the animal shelter and to increase adoptions,” he said. “There are a lot of great pets waiting to be adopted, and I hope folks will come out and start the new year with a new friend.”
Sheppard said Kling’s donation will make a difference. Each animal adopted from Huntsville Animal Services is spayed or neutered before leaving the facility.
“It’s a great cost-savings benefit to a new owner, but Huntsville Animal Services benefits because that dog or cat won’t be contributing to the homeless pet problem,” Sheppard said. “It benefits taxpayers, too, because we won’t be using our resources to care for an unwanted litter of kittens or puppies.”
Looking for a new best friend? Click here to see photos, ages and descriptions of available animals.
Located at 4950 Triana Blvd. SW, the shelter is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.