Enid Animal Shelter has done a good job in recent years improving the adoption rate for animals in its care.

On Friday, those efforts were recognized by Common Bonds, an Oklahoma-based coalition of local, state and national animal welfare organizations, which made the city of Enid the first municipality in the state honored through the group’s Certified Communities program. The city of Enid, Enid SPCA and local animal foster groups were recognized.

Common Bonds, which has a goal to raise the live release rate of cats and dogs in Oklahoma shelters to 90% by 2025, presented the city with a plaque at Enid Animal Shelter on Friday, recognizing Enid for its “ongoing commitment to save more animal lives,” according to a press release. Common Bonds recognized the city for its commitment to the 90% shelter animal save rate and for reporting its intake and release numbers in the Shelter Animals Count national database.

Vickie Grantz, executive director of Enid SPCA, said the live release rate from Enid Animal Shelter now is 91% for dogs, 84% for cats and a combined 89% for all dogs and cats that come into the shelter. The majority of animals now euthanized are not euthanized because of a lack of adoption families, she said, but rather because of disease, injury or other factors that make the animals unable to be adopted.

Grantz said the high rate of adoptions in Enid is possible because of the close working relationship among Enid Animal Shelter, Enid SPCA and local foster groups, which collaborate to foster and place animals out of the city’s animal control facility, including Enid SPCA, Friends of Enid Area Animals, Rebel Rescue Fundraising, FURever Friends Animal Rescue and Meows Inc.

Common Bonds also lauded the city for changing the name of its animal services from animal control to animal welfare, “reflecting more positively on the work of the Enid Animal Shelter,” as well as the commitment of shelter manager Allen Elder to participate in Common Bonds’ group meetings with shelter managers across the state.

Common Bonds said Enid is an example of how the state can reduce its animal euthanasia rates.

We believe Enid would be a great example to follow. And, judging from the numbers, other state municipalities need a lot of help.

The latest data from Best Friends Animal Society’s Pet Lifesaving Dashboard ranks Oklahoma eighth in the country in the total number of cats and dogs killed in animal shelters. Last year, more than 18,000 shelter cats and dogs were euthanized in Oklahoma, an increase of 5,000 from the previous year. Sadly, Oklahoma saw the largest increase in shelter animal euthanasia of any state last year as its overall save rate fell 3 percentage points to 73.1%.

We are glad to see Enid bucking the state trend and wish others’ would work to follow our lead.

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The News & Eagle Editorial Board meets weekly to form the newspaper's stances on mostly local and state and occasionally national issues.

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