The recent addition of a county-wide animal shelter in Washington County is freeing up space at other shelters in the region. More space means a lower euthanasia rate at Fayetteville Animal Services. So far the facility has had to euthanize 3.9 percent of its animals, compared to 23 percent last year.
Justine Lentz is the shelter's superintendent. She says besides space, the people who work and volunteer to care for animals are of utmost importance. “I think that it's really important to stress that it's not just your shelter. It's your entire community,” says Lentz. “We are really blessed to live in a community that's really supportive of what we do. That gives us a lot of opportunities to expose our pets, give them to offsite adoption events and farmer's markets, things like that. We also live in a collegiate town that we get a lot of volunteers from.”
Lentz says treating and rehabilitating injured or abused animals at the shelter is now more feasible than ever.“We had a small little jack russell dog that came in late December and she was fear-biting, because she was just so scared and traumatized from how she got here. Before we wouldn't have had a month and a half to work with her, but because we had more space and staff time available we've been able to work with her. Now she's on our adoption floor and she's perfectly adoptable.”
Fayettville Animal Services is one of three shelters in Washington County.