Lawton Animal Welfare release shelter numbers, classified as low-kill shelter

Puppy in Lawton Animal Welfare.
Puppy in Lawton Animal Welfare.(KSWO)
Published: May. 16, 2023 at 7:44 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - “We are full pretty much on a daily basis. We do have some good adoptions. We do have some return-to-owners, but unfortunately when we’re at max capacity we’ve got to be a little more creative,” said Roy Rodrick, the Lawton Animal Welfare superintendent.

For the past three months the Lawton Animal Welfare has maintained a low seventies success rates. This classifies them as a low-kill shelter, however if they drop below seventy they could risk being classified as high-kill.

“It’s hard to get back to the low-nineties with the volume of animals that come in,” said Rodrick. “There’s so many right now that a lot of shelters don’t take anything from outside their jurisdictions. Rescues can only do so much. Most of them are foster based and they only have so many people that step up and allow these other animals into their homes.”

Rise in cost of living, lack of responsibility, and stray litters, are some of the causes of shelter over-population, according to Rodrick.

And when shelters become too crowded, there’s a possibility for some of the animals to be euthanized, which can affect the morale of the shelter.

“P.T.S.D. is very real when it comes to an animal shelter and euthanizing animals. I know through the years that I’ve done this: I’ve had to euthanize animals for room, I’ve had to euthanize the sick and injured, the behavior issues. It never goes away,” said Rodrick.

This isn’t just a local problem. Rodrick says shelter over-population is a nation-wide issue, and gives advice on what the community can do to help.

“The one way to help that would be to spay and neuter your pets. That’s going to be the biggest thing that will help not only Lawton Animal Welfare, but all of the shelters and rescues not just in this area, but all across the nation,” said Rodrick.