Shelter live release rates drop as year ends

El Paso Animal Services

As the year comes to a close, the city shelter is seeing a drop in animals getting out alive. The longer than usual summer season has led the shelter to take in more animals and for longer.

Veronica Martinez and her family are fostering two puppies until they’re ready for adoption.

“We came in about two weeks ago. We fell in love with both of them. For sure we’ll be bringing the black one home,” Martinez said.

Fostering and adopting can help El Paso Animal Services keep the live release rate high. That’s the number of animals that are either adopted, released to owners, transferred out or released back to the wild.

The city shelter started the year off with a record-breaking live release rate at 91 percent for both February and March.

Paula Powell is the Animal Services director. She said release rates have been dropping since the warmer months began.

“Always in the summer months we get more dogs in, I guess more dogs are out and about, our intake always increases,” Powell said.

Since March release rates have stayed below 90 percent, reaching the 70s in both June and September.

Powell said now that’s it’s getting colder -- intake and consequently live release rates should shift.

“Last year was good and our intake was lower, so last December really set us up for a good January and February,” Powell said. “So we’re hoping for the same this year, the same trend.”

That’s where adopters like Alysa Mora can help.

“We’re definitely wanting to adopt him because he’s a very friendly cat,” Mora said.

Martinez said the holiday season is the perfect time to add a new member to your family -- but that adopting shouldn't be taken lightly.

“Not just for Christmas present but this is a life companion that is always going to be with you,” Martinez said.

For information on adopting or fostering you can visit the El Paso Animal Services website or Facebook page.

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