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AVAS Celebrates Increased Live Animal Release Rates

APPLE VALLEY:( Results are in from the Local Rabies Control Activities Annual Report and Apple Valley Animal Services has reason to celebrate. The 2013 Annual Report confirms that live animal rates are up over 7% from 2012. Live animal rates include live release statistics for dogs and cats that are returned-to-owners, adopted or rescued, and live holds still at the shelter entering the new calendar year. Even more impressive is a 9% increase in dog adoptions and return-to-owners.

“In 2013, the Town of Apple Valley began providing animal sheltering services to the County of San Bernardino, which increased our live intake of cats and dogs. We are pleased with the positive results and will continue to provide programs that increase live release rates and reduce euthanasia,” said Gina Schwin-Whiteside, Animal Services Manager.

The Town Council recently approved a Trap-Neuter-Release program in an effort to reduce stray cat populations in the community and cats being turned into the shelter. Reducing stray cat populations is a priority for the Town and they will continue to offer spay/neuter assistance and reduced adoption fees for cats. The goal is to improve live release statistics for all cats coming into the shelter.

Apple Valley Animal Services and other cities in the High Desert region submit calendar year statistics for a countywide report to the California Department of Public Health. The report provides verification that local jurisdictions are complying with the California Rabies Control Program. Rabies control programs include an animal shelter system, animal bite reporting and investigations, stray animal control, animal rabies case investigations, quarantine of biting dogs and cats, quarantine of domestic animals potentially exposed to rabies, and other activities. Regulations require every dog over the age of four months to be vaccinated for rabies and licensed. Dogs under four months of age must be confined at home or kept under close leash supervision by their owners.

The euthanasia rate for dogs has dropped to 38% at the Apple Valley Municipal Animal Shelter. “The live release rates for cats are still a major concern for staff,” said Whiteside. “Adoption fees have been lowered for cats during the month of July to encourage their placement into permanent loving homes.” Compared to other cities in the High Desert region, Apple Valley has the lowest euthanasia rate for dogs and cats combined.

Anyone interested in adopting an animal can visit the Town’s Municipal Animal Shelter at 22131 Powhatan Road, Tuesday – Saturday from 9am to 4pm. Cat adoptions for the month of July are $20. Additional information is available at (760) 240-7000 Ext. 7555.

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