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July OPAS Shelter Stats
Angie Pritchett

July OPAS Shelter Stats

On my personal Facebook page, I posted about 2 kitties, C-1416 & C-1650, from OPAS. These 2 loving kittens came into OPAS barely a month apart & their control numbers were 234 cats/kittens apart. With the help of the PAWS Animal Shelter Rescue program, Cooper vet & Petsmart, I'm able to pull cats from OPAS, get them spayed or neutered & then take them to Petsmart for adoption. I hear people say “I don’t like coming to the shelter because it’s so sad”. Petsmart is where cats & kittens can be adopted without having to go to the shelter.

There is only one problem. 234 cats came in in 1 month & that number doesn’t account for all of the dogs that came in. Listed below are the shelter stats for July. Remember C-1416 & C-1650 which were about 1 month apart? The total cat intake was 267. Total "PUT TO SLEEP" 249. The cat building at OPAS doesn't empty out at the end of the month and there were already some in there. Then I think “only 15 adopted?”. 11 of those 15 were adopted from Petsmart so only 3 people came to the shelter looking for a cat to bring into their home.

Our Animal Shelter Rescue Program does wonderful things with the dogs. They find loving homes up north, they are cared for in loving homes before that journey & even if the animal gets sick & passes away that animal knows that it was loved if only for a short time. We at PAWS remember the sad, but relish the happy, happy tails. However, always on our minds are the euthanized.

As I go to OPAS 2 or 3 times a week to choose which cat gets to make that journey to Petsmart, I see the carriers by the office door. Cats that people have dumped at OPAS to become someone else’s problem. I know that PAWS can’t save them all. The best I can do is look, whisper kind words to them, say a little prayer that maybe today will be their lucky day & hope that they get moved to the cat building. When I ‘m able to take 1, 2 or 3 from the cat building that makes room for 1, 2, or 3 more that will be saved. It works the same for the dogs. If you go & adopt an animal then you actually save 3 lives. The one you adopt, the one that gets to move into the adoptable section & the one that just came in & gets the cage outside. What a wonderful feeling knowing that you adopted & saved 3 lives!

Adopting & rescuing doesn't solve the problem of “TOTAL EUTHANIZED 546” for the month of July. That can only be solved by spaying & neutering. If we prevent the animal from being born then we won't have to kill them when they are older. PAWS began a journey 3 years ago to try and help with this situation. We have come so far & yet we still aren't there. PAWS Spay-Neuter Services will have the ability to spay & neuter 6,000 animals per year. That’s 25 to 30 animals a day. Imagine spaying & neutering 750 animals a month. That’s more than the number that were put to sleep at OPAS!

Back to C-1416 & C-1650, their names were Sissy & C.C. Both have been adopted & more have taken their place. There are many different ways to help reduce the intake numbers at OPAS. Here’s how you can help:

1) Join PAWS & become a foster. Open your home to an animal for 4 to 6 weeks. The animals pulled into our rescue program usually aren't the ones that get moved to the adoptable section so you are truly saving that animal’s life & the next animal that comes in.

2) Join PAWS & sponsor a dog. Sponsoring is easy with many different levels and any amount helps. You can see the different sponsor levels on our rescue page & then email to find out which animal needs a sponsor.

3) Join our believers & donate to Spay-Neuter Services. Our believers know that spaying & neutering is the only answer so they keep pushing to help get the doors opened at 1601 Southern Ave in Monroe. Our believers donate money & also do fundraisers for us.

4) Join PAWS & donate to Sponsor-A-Spay. This is our low income spay/neuter assistance program that helps low income level families get their pets fixed.

5) Volunteer at OPAS & show the animals that are stuck there that someone loves them. Go to the shelter, bath them, walk them, give them treats & spend time with them. Some have never known the love of a human & some at one time, did know that love, but for whatever reason that love just isn't there any more & they were dumped at OPAS.

6) Donate food, beds, bleach, towels & treats to OPAS. Because the shelter is a parish run facility, their budget isn't great and they always need items. Cleaning supplies help to keep diseases down at the shelter, but we also need people who are willing to volunteer & use those supplies there. Bleaching water bowls & cages helps cut down on parvo & distemper. Two deadly diseases that if not handled quickly can spread.

7) Join PAWS, OPAS & all the other shelters in our area in spreading the word: ADOPT, DON'T SHOP & SPAY & NEUTER YOUR PETS. This is the easiest of all. Educate yourself & pass the word on.

There are so many quotes that say so much. Here are some of my favorites:

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. - Helen Keller

A pet is a medication without side effects that has so many benefits. - Edward Creagan, Oncologist, Mayo Clinic

What greater gift than the love of a cat? - Charles Dickens

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened. - ANATOLE FRANCE

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. - Mahatma Gandhi

Only if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, we will help. Only if we help, they shall be saved. ― Jane Goodall

The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves. - Jane Goodall

So what will inspire you to get involved? 7 very simple things are listed above. Looking at the July OPAS shelter stats, we need all the help we can get.

Held over from prev month 124
Surrendered Dogs 227
Surrendered Cats 267
Ouachita Parish AC 185
Other (Wisner, Winnsboro) 2
Adopted Dogs 107
Adopted Cats 15
Claimed 46
Rescued 12
Escaped 1
Died 8
Other 0
Euthanized Dogs 297
Euthanized Cats 249