Clearing the shelter: Rescue agencies pull 165 animals to find homes in other areas

Drew Butler
The Ardmoreite
The dog kennels at the Ardmore Animal Shelter were almost empty on Friday afternoon after a busy week of adoptions and pulls from rescue agencies. Last week the shelter released 165 animals to rescue agencies to find homes in other states.

Hundreds of pets from the Ardmore Animal Shelter are well on their way to finding new homes courtesy of various rescue agencies from across the country. From October 16 through October 23, these agencies pulled 165 animals that will soon be living with families in Iowa, Illinois and Colorado.

Shelter Supervisor Amanda Dinwiddie said most of these animals were dogs because the shelters that will be receiving them have a much greater need of canines. However, around 16 cats were also taken and more will be leaving in the future.

“We’ve got two more rescue pulls scheduled with our regular partners this year, and they’ve asked us to send more cats in those,” Dinwiddie said. “They say their cat adoptions really go up in the colder seasons, so there will be a much bigger need then.”

Dinwiddie said rescue pulls have been responsible for saving the lives of hundreds of animals. In fact, the shelter has been able to achieve several record breaking months because of these rescues.

“Our live rate in August was 112%,” Dinwiddie said. “That means 112% of the animals that were in our facility walked out as rescues — adoptions, fosters, or rescue pulls. It’s over 100% because some of those animals were here from July and they were included in the count.”

She said October is also shaping up to be another extremely successful month.

“When I was doing our numbers for October last week I saw that we had taken in 362, and 352 have been placed,” Dinwiddie said. “We’re trying to avoid ever having to euthanize for space ever again, and over the last year we’ve gotten very good at avoiding that. Most of our euthanasia numbers are medically necessary because we’ve had some pretty sever cases come in.”

Despite the many large pulls from rescue agencies, the shelter still has numerous animals available for adoption. As of Monday afternoon, 40 dogs and several cats were still at the shelter. However, Dinwiddie expects some of these animals to be claimed by their owners.

“All strays are held on a five-day stray hold,” she said. “Oklahoma law requires we hold them for 72 hours, but we add on the additional two days as an extra grace period because we always want to get our animals back to their original owners if possible.”

She advises anyone who is missing a pet to call the shelter with a description and come by and check for themselves.

“I always recommend that you come by and look,” she said. “Everybody has a different opinion on colors and markings, so we may not recognize your pet based off of a description alone.”

Owners claiming their pets are charged a small fee based on how long their pet has lived at the shelter. The cost is $20 the first day with an additional $5 added every day after that.

“Every animal that enters our shelter has an initial examination and vaccinations to make sure they are as healthy as possible,” Dinwiddie said. “The money also helps cover their boarding and food.”

Dinwiddie’s advice to those who want to adopt a pet is to come as soon as they're ready and not to wait. This is especially important when large rescue pulls are scheduled in the near future.

“If you do want to adopt, come see us now,” she said. “These rescues want to pull mass quantities, and that’s something that we can’t turn down. Our number one goal is getting animals out of here and into homes — whether that’s through rescue or adoption, whichever comes first.”