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'It's been really hard': Valley animal shelter reaches no-kill status

1 month 6 days 20 hours ago Thursday, June 24 2021 Jun 24, 2021 June 24, 2021 5:04 PM June 24, 2021 in News - Local

New data from an animal welfare organization shows a Valley animal shelter achieving no-kill status, yet officials at the Palm Valley Animal Society say things are more challenging this year.

According to the Best Friends Animal Society, the Valley animal shelter reached a 92% no-kill rate for 2020, 20% points higher than the year before.

Palm Valley Animal Society Executive Director Donna Casamento says transporting extra animals to other agencies and their social media presence played a significant role in the accomplishment.

Still, Casamento remains focused on the animals they can't save, and she says 2021 isn't looking great.

"It's been really hard," she said. "We've had to look at those animals and know we can treat them, know we have the ability to save their lives, but we don't have the resources and space right now."

Last year, the shelter's capacity was low, with about 600 animals in their care, compared to the 1,600 animals they look after now.

Casamento says it's been more than two years since the shelter has seen numbers as high as the ones recorded for 2021, along with facing staffing shortages.

Lee Ann Shenefiel, southwest regional director of Best Friends Animal Society, says Texas ranks number one in the county for the most dogs and cats who die in shelters because they don't have a place to call home.

Casamento says anyone looking to surrender their animal to the shelter is encouraged to ask for help. She says the Palm Valley offers free pet food for anyone struggling to afford their pet and other services upon request.

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