It’s going to be a fantastic year for pets in Wichita Falls. Our NKWF (No-Kill Wichita Falls) partners made excellent progress in 2015 lowering the euthanasia rate by 10%. You can expect to see more unity and great results this year too!
We still have some work to do Wichita Falls! 5058 unwanted pets were taken in during 2015. Only 50% were euthanized compared to 60% the previous year but I think we all agree our community can do much better. So what is PETS going to do to help? We will focus on decreasing the number of unwanted pets so our adoption partners can save as many lives as possible.
Pets are Family Too!
We are launching a first of its kind program called “Pets are family too!” This program is a collaboration between PETS, Paws for Greatness and the Wichita Falls Housing Authority. It is graciously funded by the Perkins-Prothro Foundation. The goal of “Pets are Family Too” is to help pets become part of their families and lower the number of owner surrenders. Many behaviors result in pets being banished to the outdoors and not being the companion they long to be are simply resolved. Bad behaviors can also lead to owner relinquishment. The good news is, dogs exist to please. They just need to learn how. The only difference in the lonely dog living exclusively outside and man’s best friend is training. PAWS for Greatness will launch its first free training session to target pet owners January 30th. The tools our pet owners learn in these sessions will stay with them for life and benefit every pet they subsequently own. Pets that are treated as family members are less likely to be relinquished and everyone wins.
Free Chihuahuas and Pit Bulls
We are bringing back our Free Chihuahuas and Pit Bulls program. These 2 breeds make up 47% of our unwanted pets in Wichita Falls. The Fain Foundation recognized this urgent need and provided us with funding to offer surgery to these 2 breeds for free. This program will begin February 1st. We have to prevent more unwanted litters from being born if we want more progress this year. Pet Over Population is a serious problem in Wichita Falls and it cost us much more than just money. Beautiful, healthy dogs and cats are killed every day because too many are born. Please spay and neuter all your pets regardless of breed or gender. Encourage others to do the same and together we will save lives.
The number of lost and found pets we see every day on Facebook is making us lose our minds. We have some great tips on our Lost and Found blog. To help encourage pet owners to keep identification on their pets at all times, we are going to begin offering discounted rabies and $2 collars. If your pet is micro-chipped, wearing a collar with an ID tag or a collar with your number written on it, we will discount the cost of your rabies by $2. This means you will pay only $6 or $10 for rabies. If you do not have a collar, we will sell you one for $2.00 so that your pet leaves with identification. Pets wearing identification can be reunited with their families and not in danger of being left unclaimed or euthanized. Identification is the simplest most affordable thing you can do to keep your pet safe and help us lower the intake of lost and unwanted pets.
These are just a few new things we will be doing this year to help decrease the number of unwanted pets in our community. We hope 2016 is the year you get involved in NKWF. Spay, Neuter, Adopt, Foster, Transport, Volunteer, Donate, Educate: there are so many ways you can help your community save lives.