Lawton Animal Welfare works to save animals with policy change - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Lawton Animal Welfare works to save animals with policy change

LAWTON, Okla._The Lawton City Council and Lawton Animal Welfare are making several changes to help improve the lives of homeless animals brought into the shelter.

Some of those changes include improving ventilation within the building in addition to accepting a generous donation of leashes, food and other pet care items totaling $8,000.

As animal welfare works to make changes in Lawton, they're hoping that recent agreements with the City Council will help outside communities as well. For years, Lawton Animal Welfare has been the hub for the city's homeless animals and surrounding communities. However, these outside animals were held contractually to a sad fate that Lawton shelter manager Russell Anderson and his staff are hoping to change.

"The contracts are written that we would euthanize all the animals they bring us, so we changed the verbage to say that we can now rehome, we can adopt [and] we can send out to rescues. That makes an overall change from our euthanasia policy as a whole because that used to be the only option for those animals," explained Anderson.

The shelter has already made the change with Medicine Park. Now, they're working to make the same change with Cache, Chattanooga and Grandfield. Anderson hopes that this will give all deserving animals a better chance at finding a forever home.

"If it's loving, caring and kind and it gets along with other animals, no food aggression, then it goes straight up for adoption. It gives us a lot more flexibility to help the animals instead of just euthanizing them," said Russell.

Even though some animals could benefit from these changes, the shelter is already at full capacity, and Anderson says that citizens of Lawton and surrounding communities must do their part to help them save lives through responsible pet breeding and ownership.

"If you don't microchip and you don't have any identification and they're not registered through the city, then we have no idea who they belong to. This little girl could have gone home if we knew where she came from. That would have helped a lot as well," said Russell as he spoke about a puppy.

For now, that puppy and the other dogs and cats will remain at the shelter for as long as they are capable of holding them, or until they find their forever home.

The shelter is currently housing 74 dogs, but only has 58 permanent pens. Anderson says if you've been thinking about adopting, now is the best time to do so.

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