El Paso working hard to reach no-kill shelter status by 2020

The City of El Paso has implemented multiple measures to address growing citizen concerns about the welfare of animals within the city. These measures include turning the El Paso Animal Shelter into a no-kill facility by 2020, encouraging more animal adoptions and increasing the number of volunteers working at the El Paso Animal Shelter. El Paso residents have frequently voiced concerns about the commitment of the city government to properly care for abandoned or neglected animals. In 2013, the city had a live release rate for shelter animals of roughly 26 percent, meaning that three-quarters of shelter animals were being euthanized. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates that anywhere from five to seven million animals are euthanized every year in shelters nationwide, while only 10 to 20 percent of families adopt their animals from shelters.

Pet food pantry helps keep animal friends in the family during tough times

Many pet owners view their pets as part of their family. They do everything they can to care for them, including feeding them their favorite food or buying them a new outfit. But, things can happen in life, and pet owners can be left unable to care for their beloved pets. Former El Paso Humane Society volunteer, Josie Gonzalez, saw many pet owners who were forced to surrender their pets to the shelter because they could no longer afford to feed and care for them. Gonzalez thought of a new way to help keep pets at home with their families.

Pet ducks dumped at El Paso lake struggle to survive

EL PASO — Ascarate Park in East-Central El Paso has recently become home to a flock of aggressive, starved and abused birds — primarily ducks — as Easter gifts and unwanted pets have been dumped at the lake. Animal rescue workers estimate some 200 ducks and geese have been abandoned at Ascarate as the pets became too much for their owners to handle. “People sometimes don’t know what they are getting themselves into,” said Julie Ito Morales, member from local wildlife rescue Stick House Sanctuary. “They start as small cute birds, but they will grow in size and need care just like a dog or any other type of pet.” Although no official cause has been established as to how the large white ducks got into the park, Morales believes that it is the result of people who saw the park as a solution to their problem.

The need for pet adoptions increases as the economy worsens

EL PASO — Walking into the animal shelter it seems to me that most of the dogs are saying, “I’m excited there is a new face here today — maybe one will take me to a nice warm home, and maybe I will meet new friends too! Oh, please pick me. I promise I will be a good dog.”

They stare at visitors and wag their tails in eagerness to be touched.  They probably came from a home where they once were loved and played with every day. They are not used to sitting in a cage, lonely. Especially two beautiful Golden Retrievers I saw outside — two really big adult dogs that seemed so close to each other, as if they were brother and sister, and who knows maybe they are.