Animal Overpopulation in Leon County

By: Amy Long Email
By: Amy Long Email

Biscuit is just one of the 10,000 animals that are dropped off here at the Tallahassee Animal Service center.... But Biscuit is one of the lucky ones because more than half of the animals brought in in 2010 had to be euthanized.

Mary Johanningsmeier says she feels helpless, "That is so sad. I just don't know how to stop it."

Pruda Fields a concerned pet owner says, "Frankly- what can you do? What do we have a set amount that we keep before we get started going into the public consciousness of it all?"

Director Erika Leckington at the Animal Service Center says, "That is an atrocious number for how many animals that we are getting into the shelter. The only way that we can stem that in this community is to stop the intake of animals here at the shelter. That doesn't mean close our doors, but start educating the community."

The shelter holds around 300 animals at the max. In the summer months, up to three times as many animals are dropped off compared to the winter - which varies the time an animal can be kept at the shelter.

Of the stray animals brought in - only 15 percent of owners come to reclaim them.

Amber Ferrington says took her dog to get his shots and microchip almost immediately "If you're going to commit to the responsibility of having a pet, a dog or a cat or whatever- you should take care of it."

Statistics show 178 animals were euthanized purely because there is not enough space and almost 800 puppies and kittens were put down because the animal service center didn't have the resources to care for them.

To read the statistics click on the attached document above.


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  • by Ponygal Location: Tallahassee on Mar 7, 2011 at 03:56 PM
    The Foster Program at the shelter is almost totally gone. Someone RESPONISBLE take over the FOSTER list and get those 800 babies into FOSTER HOMES instead of just Killing them because you CAN! Get the fosters utilized and working, and maybe you can get your euthanized percentages down across the board.!!! Work til we are a NO KILL NATION not a Kill Adoptable Pets because We Can Shelter!
  • by Sarah Location: Tallahassee on Feb 2, 2011 at 05:18 PM
    I am surprised by the negative opinions so many of you have of the shelter and its staff. As a frequent volunteer, I see the compassion that the staff, volunteers, and fosters have for the animals in the shelter's care. Working with homeless animals is an incredibly stressful job that doesn't pay well, and they should be commended for the work that they do. They are trying to make a difference, while many of you are simply pointing fingers instead of trying to solve the problem. Also, there are several organizations that offer free or low-cost spay/neuter vouchers, including TREATS, Be The Solution, and the Animal Shelter Foundation. Instead of blaming the shelters, please try and help by donating, volunteering, adopting, or educating others about being a responsible pet owner. Thanks.
  • by sophie Location: Tallahassee on Feb 2, 2011 at 05:45 AM
    I find it sad that people do not choose to look at the reality. If the shelter had unlimited space, unlimited budget, unlimited staff, there would still be animals euthanized. This is not the shelter's fault or the staff's fault. It is however the fault of the citizen's of Leon county. Animal Control goes above and beyond to return animals in the field but with no tags, no ID, no microchip it is sometimes impossible. The sad fact is that sometimes when an animal is picked up and brought to the shelter, THE OWNER DOES NOT CARE!It is a problem taken off their hands and someone else can deal with it. The shelter is one of the top in the country. They deal with the problems that the citizens of Tallahassee force on them and they do their job with honor and compassion. I applaud our shelter and support their commitment to the lives of the animals of our city.
  • by Pet Owner Location: Tallahassee on Feb 1, 2011 at 07:32 PM
    Wow. For a town with so many colleges we sure have a lot of ignorant citizens. I suppose the people who work for waste management are also to blame for the overflowing landfills and related odor. I suppose that the police and jail workers are to blame for criminals. Heck firemen must be responsible for fires. You blame the people who choose to try and do something to help the animals for a societal problem that is in no way unique to Tallahassee. The solution is not to give away all the animals. You can't adopt out 10,000 animals in Tallahassee. The solution is for people to be proactive and to spay and neuter their pets and to pick them up when they get lost and end up at the shelter. Keep in mind those 5000 or so animals that got euthanized included aggressive bite dogs, severely sick or injured animals, rabid wildlife, feral cats, and animals who requested that their aging or dying pets be humanely euthanized.
  • by human person Location: wakulla on Feb 1, 2011 at 03:33 PM
    The lack of humankind's regard for life is appalling. Whigham snake slaughter......give em to the animal shelter for slaughter........shoot kittens in the forest.....the list goes on and on. Should require a permit to own an animal.
  • by ? i Location: tally on Feb 1, 2011 at 12:50 PM
    i gotta agree... if you gripe about the adoption fee, what about food, shots, monthly heartworm treatments, flea treatments, etc etc. when i got my dog from the pound she had mange but i love her to death. and yes she is a part of my family. wouldn't trade her for the world. and i had to take in consideration that she had to eat when the price of gas was going up and my paycheck wasn't. i didn't just drop her back off to the pound. people just need to be realistic when considering adoption.
  • by ??? on Feb 1, 2011 at 12:41 PM
    i adopted a puupy from the pound a few years ago, she is wonderful. i agree there are programs to help with spaying and neutering. If however, you pick up a stray on the side of the road some of the animal aid clinics will make it impossible to try to get papers on the dog. they wanna hold it for so long to make sure no one claims it, etc etc. too much red tape. I lived in a neighborhood where there were about 50 stray cats roaming, some of the aggressive. this is an awful problem and people do need to take responsibility and get the animals fixed. bottom line. some people want to give the animals good homes but can't afford the yearly vaccinations.?? i'm wondering if the responsible pet owners that take good care of their animals can get a ssn to claim them as a deduction on our taxes lol. that would motivate some people i bet. lol. vaccinations costs money.
  • by Jen Location: tallahassee on Feb 1, 2011 at 12:29 PM
    I have to agree with Pres Nixon, the people at the shelter are very cold hearted and uncaring. Then they got the few that doit for their satisfaction of making others believe that they are doing good just not really caring about the animals. But, Pres. dont call them names, just say what you feel and let it go. I agree many other shelters in other cities are much more caring and responsible.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 1, 2011 at 12:20 PM
    @ a & Pete Sorry but you are both wrong...I work with the humane society and with big dog rescue and I do know what I am talking about...Pete you think you are a big shot, you are part of the &%^*% at the shelter so hang it up....I know many with no money with dogs that cannot get spay and neuter so dont tell me what you have no clue about.....And i will say again, the shelter people are *%*^*
  • by tina Location: fl. on Feb 1, 2011 at 12:19 PM
    preznixon does make a good point. we wast so much money on the human bumbs and the animals are yhe innosent one's and we treat them like dirt. there should be a free spade nuddered clinc for the pets. just cut some other useless agency.
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