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No-Kill Means Not Lost First

May 05, 2016 03:21PM ● Published by Sandra Osborn

By Sandra Osborn / s.osborn@mycityjournals.com

South Jordan - The Fifth Annual South Jordan City Rabies Clinic was held on April 9th at the Animal Services Shelter. A team from South Mountain Equine (SME) left their hoofed patients to come out and play with the dogs and cats. 

The clinic offered low-cost rabies vaccinations, annual boosters for distemper/parvo and Bordetella, as well as AVID microchips. Easy check-in and fast assistance had pets get in and out in just a few minutes. Afterwards, South Jordan pet owners could also license their pets with the city. 

“The Community turn out is great,” Nina Bowen from SME said. “We vaccinate over 100 dogs every year and today we’ve also seen about 10 cats. We see a lot of people who come year after year.”

The Rabies Clinic served to remind pet owners of the importance of keeping their pets not only healthy but also safe and at home. 

As weather turns warmer, more pets are likely to go missing and shelters see an uptick in the number of impounded animals.

“In the summer, dogs get cabin fever, so they’re going to run and visit people,” Officer Pam Rasmussen with South Jordan Animal Services said. 

“We get an average of two dogs a day, but it really varies. I’ve had up to seven dogs impounded in one day,” Rasmussen said. 

Licensing provides an additional form of identification that could be vital in reuniting families with their missing pets. 

“Eighty percent of dogs that come to the shelter are not identifiable,” Rasmussen said. “When an owner doesn’t claim their pet, it is put up for adoption through a rescue like the Utah Adoption Center.”

Residents are encouraged to call animal services as soon as they become aware that their pet has gone missing. Owners will not only avoid higher impound fees, as each night a pet spends at the shelter accrues an extra charge, but licensing also ensures that medical care is given when needed and pets aren’t lost forever. 

The South Jordan Animal Services Shelter is following the trend to become a No-Kill Shelter. Under the Maddie’s Fund definition, a No-Kill shelter seeks to save all healthy and adoptable cats and dogs. It reserves euthanasia only for untreatable and unhealthy animals. 

“To make the decision to have a pet euthanized is really tough,” Rasmussen said. “It should lie with the owner, not the city.”

“The fact remains that overpopulation is a problem and to have suffering in place of that isn’t necessarily a good idea,” Kate Schoenhals, SME veterinarian said. 

“Shelters are overflowing with dogs and cats. Population control is the most important aspect of the whole ordeal. I’m a spade/neuter proponent in a major way. After that, I’m an advocate for taking care of your pets and preventing them from getting lost through tags, microchip, and/or licensing,” Schoenhals said. 

“If a citizen finds a dog out there with an SJ license tag on it, they can call the city, and the city may go ahead and let them know the owner’s information so the dog doesn’t have to spend time at the shelter, and the owner doesn’t have to pay fees,” Rasmussen said. 

Veronica Tedjamulia licensed her four month-old Havanese, Bella, at the event.  

“I think it is a good idea. There are a lot of pets that do get lost. I’ve had neighbors that have lost their pets but they weren’t microchipped so they weren’t able to find them. I’m sure other people just ended up adopting them,” Tedjamulia said. 

“If Bella got lost, I would like to have her come back to me.” 

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