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EDITOR, Daily News:
The Ketchikan Humane Society Board of Directors would like to thank you for your editorial of August 19, 2019 regarding the issue of stray animals in Ketchikan.
There was a time, and not very long ago, when the people of Ketchikan were fine with allowing the borough to kill as many as 400 animals per year. It cost taxpayers money, it took a huge toll emotionally on the animal control officers and the veterinarians involved, and it cast a pall over our community.
Since the borough started requiring spay/neuter for their adoptions and the Ketchikan Humane Society started our low-cost program, the shelter’s euthanasia numbers have plummeted. In FY 2019, just over 91% of its care load had a positive outcome, while only about 8% were euthanized, with those animals being too ill or too intractable to adopt. They are as no-kill as possible.
Finding homes for unwanted and neglected animals is only half the solution to the problem. Our organization has found loving homes for hundreds of animals for nearly two decades. The other half of the solution is prevention. Recognizing this, we have made a commitment to reduce the numbers of unwanted animals in our community.
We are an all-volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit with no paid staff and no facility. We rely on the generosity of individuals and businesses for support. KHS is approaching 1,000 low-cost surgeries since we began raising money to support the program. Island to Island Veterinary Clinic has been a huge help by sponsoring several mass spay/neuter clinics in recent years in addition to accepting individual applicants, and Stonetree Veterinary Clinic also contributes by offering individual low-cost spays and neuters for qualified applicants. Our community has been very generous in helping us make such a difference.
We still have a long way to go. We are heartbroken at the numbers of sick, hungry and dying kittens and adult cats that struggle to survive under local stairways, inside rock walls, and along our highway. We can’t take them all in. There just aren’t enough homes. Spay/neuter is the solution.
We’ve been told we’ve made it very difficult for people to find puppies now, that puppies used to be given away out of parking lots. To that we say: Good. We’re glad it’s hard. We hope it gets harder. You shouldn’t be able to pick a puppy out of a box in the back of someone’s car and then dump it six months later when it’s not cute and cuddly any more.
People who need financial assistance to alter their pets can contact us through our website or on Facebook, or by picking up a paper application at either veterinary clinic. Our website isketchikanhumanesociety.org.
Thank you, Ketchikan Daily News, for recognizing local efforts to make our community a beacon for humane and loving animal care.
For the Ketchikan Humane
Society Board of Directors