LAMPASAS, Texas (KXAN) — The aftermath of the pandemic has not been kind to the Lampasas Animal Shelter or the cats and dogs that end up there.
Of the 652 cats taken in by the shelter last year, two-thirds were euthanized. While the numbers for dogs were better, still more than a quarter of the 548 dogs taken in were killed.
Currently, the save rate at Lampasas Animal shelter is 74% for dogs and 34% for cats.
Lampasas Animal Shelter Supervisor Kasey Schwartzer said the issue is a series of compounding problems. There was a historic number of animals surrendered, and not enough space to put them.
“Somedays we’d get seven to 10 cats a day coming in,” Schwartzer said.
With just three staffers and very few volunteers, the shelter couldn’t keep up.
During this time, a representative from Best Friends Animal Society reached out offering help. Best Friends works to save animals’ lives and wanted to connect Schwartzer with another shelter currently implementing best practices.
That’s how she met Williamson County Animal Services Director Misty Valenta.
“When you’re helping someone else, it’s not about going in and saying, ‘you have to do it this way, this is the way that works,’ Valenta said. “It’s asking, ‘what is already working and how can our knowledge help what isn’t working?'”
Valenta oversees the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter, which took in more than 7,000 animals last year. Despite working with so many pets, the shelter had a 97% save rate last year.
Valenta said engaging in the community has been key to keeping animals alive.
“Obviously, there are the adoptions, finding animals homes,” she said. “But also fostering. Just taking an animal for a little while, donating to their local animal shelter so that they can make the life-saving choices that need to be made.”
Through the collaboration, Best Friends will help pay for the expenses associated with achieving the partnership’s goals. Lampasas Animal Shelter hopes to use the money to decrease unnecessary intake and increase adoptions, along with creating more community engagement and rescue partnerships.
“Our goal this year is to increase the quality of care we provide to all the animals in our care and we need the community’s help to do that,” Schwarzer said. ” We want to help animals stay in their house and avoid ever entering the shelter and make sure the ones that do find themselves here, are well cared for.”
The goal of the partnership is to achieve a 90% save rate at Lampasas Animal Shelter by the end of the year grant program.
It’s a goal both shelters are optimistic they can achieve.
“We’re really just hoping with this extra bit of help and financial gain that this can help us push those numbers to where they need to be,” Schwarzer said.
How to help
If you’re interested in adopting, you can preview adoptable animals at https://www.lampasas.org/318/Animals-for-Adoption.
To help support the Lampasas Animal Shelter, you can volunteer or foster. The shelter will be starting a pilot foster program and will be looking for people willing to open their houses to shelter pets.
The shelter also needs volunteers at the shelter to assist with all the new programs and events that are planned.
“Our goal this year [is] to increase the quality of care we provide to all the animals in our care and we need the community’s help to do that. We want to help animals stay in their house and avoid ever entering the shelter and make sure the ones that do find themselves here, are well cared for,” Schwartzer said.
The Lampasas Shelter is located at 301 College Street in Lampasas, Texas. Its hours are 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Saturday.