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Tulsa mayor introduces animal welfare plan as shelter is forced to euthanize dozens of pets weekly

Posted at 9:54 PM, Oct 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-24 23:08:12-04

TULSA, Okla. -- Tulsa Animal Welfare was forced to put down 350 animals in the last month, making space for the dozens that come through the door every day.

Staff at the shelter said this normally drops off in the fall. But as November approaches, euthanization numbers aren't going down.

"Yesterday was a big intake day. We had a hoarding situation where we had 31 cats come out of one apartment. On a day like that we're going to be re-evaluating what our space is," Tulsa Animal Welfare manager Jean Letcher said.

Watching this happen, Mayor G.T. Bynum presented a plan on Wednesday: an eight-step guide that would increase staffing, extend hours and renovate condition as the shelter, ultimately making it a no kill facility.

The mayor said with more animal control officers he also hopes to improve safety.

"A high rate of North Tulsa residents are afraid to walk in their neighborhoods, they're afraid to walk to a store or to the doctor, and it's not because of crime it's because of loose dogs that are out there," Mayor Bynum said.

About 40 pets from Tulsa Animal Welfare will be flown to other states for adoption on Thursday. But these changes are a way of tackling overpopulation in Oklahoma.

"Now there's much more sharing of information. Now we're looking at our whole country and what has worked well for other communities. What kinds of programs have been implemented that we can replicate here," said Humane Society of Tulsa president Gina Gardner.

The mayor plans to introduce a budget plan for this in the weeks ahead.

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