Euthanasia rates drop at Niagara County SPCA

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — Amy Lewis, the Director of the Niagara County SPCA said things have changed for the better at the shelter.

In January, 2012 an independent investigation pointed to the excessive use of euthanasia at the shelter and that animals were mainly euthanized through an extremely painful procedure.

“I’m happy with where the shelter is,” Lewis said. “This shelter has nothing to hide. We’ve got fantastic veterinary technicians that do a really great job caring for the animals here in the building.”

Lewis said the Niagara County SPCA only euthanizes animals if they’re suffering, dying from a terminal illness or has a behavioral problem that puts a person at risk. It’s a no kill shelter, she said.

“It doesn’t mean that no animal is ever euthanized. What it means is that we will not euthanize for space. We won’t euthanize healthy animals,” Lewis said.

Last year the shelter euthanized 165 animals. “Looking at the statistics for 2011, I know that they were performing about 1500 euthanasias,” she said.

Lewis added that the shelter has also increased its save rate, the number of animals that are adopted from the shelter. She said it was around 40 percent in 2012. Now it’s at 93 percent. Lewis said they’ve made a number of additional changed to turn things around and she’s optimistic about where things are heading in the future.

“I’m the first to admit that we have a lot of work to do. There are still a lot of things that we want to accomplish. But we have come so far in such a short amount of time,” Lewis said.

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