MANATEE — A dog or cat that found itself in a Manatee County animal shelter last year stood barely more than a 50 percent chance of ever finding its way out, according to a community assessment released Wednesday by the local Humane Society.
Of the 9,117 dogs and cats accepted in 2008 by the county’s three shelters -- Manatee County Animal Services, Bishop SPCA and the Humane Society of Manatee County -- 4,294 were euthanized.
That represents a 47.1 percent euthanasia rate, a far cry from the local Humane Society's goal of putting an end to killing adoptable dogs and cats within five years.
"This is completely unacceptable in this day and age," Humane Society of Manatee County Executive Director Denise Deisler said. “Euthanasia is neither an effective nor humane means to control pet overpopulation, and adoption alone will not solve the problem either.
"I honestly think there hasn't been enough focus on targeted prevention programs."
The news is worst for cats. They were killed more often and adopted less often than dogs. More than 58 percent of the 4,673 cats in the county’s shelters were euthanized in 2008, compared to 35 percent of the 4,444 dogs, the assessment said.
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