LAWTON, Okla._The City of Lawton is proud announce that Lawton Animal Welfare has been designated as "no kill" shelter for the month of November.
Assistant City Manager Jim Russell says operating as an open shelter, by taking in all animals, poses challenges that "make it almost impossible to achieve the numbers needed to reach the designation of a 'no kill' shelter." Shelters with a 90-100 percent success rate are designated as 'no kill,' 60-89.99 percent are 'low kill' and 0-59.99 percent are 'high kill.'
Russell says the commitment from the staff, volunteers, rescue organizations, local veterinarians and the public adopting many of the animals has made it all possible. Russell says they had a lofty goal of adopting out 90 percent of the animals…and exceeded it with a 96.61 percent success rate. The success rate comes from a combination of adoptions, rescue pulls, being reunited with their owner or otherwise not being euthanized.
"The biggest attribute to this incredible achievement, aside from everyone that put their heart and soul into the shelter over the last year, is the perception that has changed in the eyes of the public. We are no longer that 'place' that people avoid because of the heartbreak of knowing animals are put down. Now, we are the place that people bring their children to pick a new family member to take home. That's the exciting part. That's what has made the impossible work of this amazing team become the possible for the animals," Russell said.
Russell and Russell Anderson, the shelter superintendent, take pride in the changes and results that have been over the past year and say they couldn't have done it without everyone's help.