I-TEAM: Adoptions up, euthanasia rates down at local animal shelters

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Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 6:26 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A bit of good news out of the pandemic for animal lovers, 2020 saw a 50 percent reduction in the number of dogs and cats euthanized in shelters. The I-Team collected data from local counties to see what that picture looks like here at home.

Our I-Team found that overall adoptions were way up and a lot fewer animals were killed in our local shelters last year especially those put down just to make room.

538 dogs and 929 cats were euthanized in 2020, that includes health or behavioral issues. That’s about half as many as the year before which is right on trend with what the Best Friends Animal Society reported nationally.

Only 30 dogs and seven cats were put down last year in Richmond County for space. That’s a huge reduction from 2019 where more than 560 were killed just to make room. In Columbia County in 2019, 901 animals were put down. But in 2020 that number was nearly cut in half to 579. We’re still working on Aiken County numbers.

US News and World Report lists Georgia and South Carolina as two of the top 15 states that euthanize animals and our local shelters say especially this summer, they’re starting to see shelters hit capacity again. So there’s still work to do. Right now cats are only $10 to adopt at the Columbia County Shelter.

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