New Animal Services Director Aims to Boost Pet Adoptions
With limited space at the Springdale Animal Shelter, some animals never find a home, but the facility’s new director, Courtney Kremer, has big plans to change that.
The Springdale Animal Shelter went months without a director, but now Kremer is taking over with a mission: She wants to drastically reduce the shelter’s euthanasia rate.
“There are just too many dogs and cats that come into the Springdale shelter than necessarily get out to be adopted or out into rescue,” Kremer said.
During the spring the shelter is inundated with the number of animals coming in and if the animals do not get adopted, they could be euthanized.
University of Arkansas student Sarah Stafiej is interested in adopted a cat. She thinks adoption is important because it saves lives.
“I just feel terrible. I wish more people would make the movement to start adopting animals and saving them so they don’t have to get put down or constantly get sent somewhere else,” Stafiej said. “I feel like they are always being moved somewhere instead of just going straight to a home.”
The Humane Society of the United States estimates on its website that animal shelters care for 6 million to 8 million dogs and cats every year across the country, and 3 million to 4 million of them are euthanized.
That statistic is no different in Springdale.
Jessica Read adopted a dog a little over a month ago, and she said it’s one of the best decisions she’s ever made.
“Innocent lives get lost and it’s not something that people like to hear about but it is the truth and it does happen, sometimes if they are old, sometimes if they are young. Age doesn’t come into play, it’s how long they’ve been here,” Read said.
Kremer has been director for less than a month but she already has several ideas to help reduce the shelter’s euthanasia rate.
“We are trying to get to more adoption events,” she said. “We are going to have one next Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Compassion Center in Springdale, so the dogs will be out there and available for adoption.”
Kremer said plans to turn the shelter around will also include an expansion of the facility.
“My idea for the property is to use it for brand-new dogs and cats that are not off of stray hold yet. That way, the only animals on the adoption floor are ones that are actually able to be taken home,” she explained. “Right now, we have a mix of adoptable animals and those waiting for their five-day stray hold to end before becoming adoptable. The five days gives their original families a chance to find them before being adopted out to a new one.”
Renovations to the shelter`s cat room will begin as soon as possible, Kremer said.
The renovations will provide more space for adoptable cats and add an area for potential adopters to interact with the cats outside of their kennels.
“To reduce intake and the potential for space issues which could lead to the euthanization of adoptable animals, low-cost spay and neuter programs available to the community are essential,” Kremer said.
Grants from the Keely Foundation and C.A.R.E. (Colorado Animal Rescue Express) have allowed Springdale to provide cheaper spays and neuters. Five dollar spays and neuters are available to Springdale residents who meet income requirements for all pit bulls, chihuahuas, and mixed varieties of those breeds. The group Spay Arkansas also is offering a promotion for Springdale residents and will spay/neuter any black dog or cat for free through the month of October.