Approximately four million animals are destroyed in animal shelters each year using tax dollars and donations. That is 6+ pets killed every minute. A staggering 9,000 pets killed every single day. The majority of people believe that animals are destroyed because they are suffering or because we simply have too many of them. The reality is that an estimated 90% of these animals destroyed are healthy and treatable and that there are more than enough homes for all of them.
Our community, like other places, has struggled with how to best help homeless animals while striking a balance between animal welfare, public safety and fiscal responsibility. Both Smith County and Tyler have chosen to ignore the situation for over 7 years. Smith County chose the approach of catching, holding for the mandatory time frame, and ultimately killing the vast majority of their dogs. The City of Tyler entered into a contract with Klein Shelter in Jacksonville. The City of Tyler transports their animals to Klein Shelter where sadly the vast majority of their dogs will never see the adoption floor. In 2012 approximately 91% of the dogs Smith County picked up were destroyed. In 2013 it was 39% and only because the rescue program was started in July 2013. In those 5 months alone over 1,000 lives were saved. The year to date for 2014 is 8%. That is a 92% save rate making Smith County No Kill!
We are currently working to obtain the exact numbers for City of Tyler and hope to add them soon. It has been estimated that in 2007 over 10,000 Smith County and Tyler animals were killed.
Smith County and Tyler can lead the way for our state in becoming a No Kill Community. By using the No Kill Equation: a philosophy which has been proven to work across the country we can save more than 90% of our shelter animals. There are currently more than 300 No Kill Communities across the country representing more than 500 cities. These communities are both urban and rural; they are wealthy and poor; they are liberal and conservative. The one thing all of these communities have in common is a desire to save the lives of homeless animals while saving money in the process. Many of the programs identified as key components of saving lives are actually more cost-effective than impounding, warehousing, and ultimately killing animals. Saving the lives of animals is revenue-positive in the community.
We invite you to learn about our current challenges related to animal sheltering and about the methods being used across the country to save shelter animals. If you support our community becoming a No Kill Community (and leading the way for our state), we ask that you communicate that support to our local elected and appointed officials to let them know that you want your tax dollars used to save animals because doing so is consistent with our values and ethics.