By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Adoptions of stray animals are up at the Enid Animal Control facility, and if new soon-to-be-built dog runs have the desired effect, the number of animals getting a second chance in life will increase even more.
A ground-breaking ceremony was held Saturday to mark the first major building project since the facility opened seven years ago — outdoor runs where dogs can visit with prospective new owners away from the noise and confines of the indoor pens.
“I hope having the dog runs encourages people to come out, take them outside and get a sense of their personality,” said Rachel Hancock, adoption and volunteer coordinator at the animal control facility. “Inside, they are scared. It’s noisy.”
There’s another benefit to the runs. They are a place where employees and volunteers can take the dogs to play with them and let them get some fresh air and exercise.
“They’ll get to spend time interacting, not just with people but with other dogs, too,” Hancock said.
“We’re going to get this project accomplished to make it really user-friendly for people to come out,” said Enid Police Chief Brian O’Rourke.
Allen Elder, animal control manager, said the shelter takes in an average of 40 dogs per month. The number of cats fluctuates more than dogs, Elder said.
“If they come in as strays, we keep them five days, and then we keep them an extra two days if they are adoptable,” Elder said. “If I have space, I keep them longer.”
Since Hancock came on board with the facility in the spring, the number of adoptions has gone up by leaps and bounds, Elder said.
“We went from adopting one to two out a month to adopting 15 to 16,” Elder said.
Last month, 102 dogs came into the facility. Of those, 29 were disposed of, either because they died in their pens or were euthanized on account of being sick, injured or unadoptable, Elder said. Owners reclaimed 26 dogs. New owners adopted 34 dogs. Additionally, Enid animal control officers picked up 46 dead dogs, Elder said.
Elder said Animal Control typically fields 35 to 40 calls per day, which can range from reports of dead or stray animals to reports of neglect or abuse. The department also deals with wildlife issues such as snakes in homes and deer in yards, as well as farm animals wandering loose.
A Facebook page, Adopt-A-Pet (ENID Animal Shelter), features animals available for adoption at the facility. It is one of the initiatives Hancock started in the quest to increase the number of pets adopted out from the facility.
The facility, 1200 S. 10th, is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.