Announcing Animal Care Services

Columbus City sets Ambitious Goal of 100% of Adoption Rate for Pets - Changes Name from Animal Control to Animal Care Services

Increasing service levels and setting a goal of 100% adoption of healthy dogs and cats, meaning no healthy pets are euthanized, were the motivations behind the renaming of the city’s Animal Control Department to Animal Care Services. According to the mayor, the new name reflects a realignment of services offered by the shelter, which places a greater focus on animal care, adoption and education.

“It’s important that we establish the highest standard of care for our animals, and then work hard to achieve that standard,” said Mayor Kristen Brown. “While protecting the public, we also want to find homes for every adoptable cat and dog, reduce the stray and homeless population, encourage owner education and responsibility and collaborate better with other agencies that provide animal services. We know our goal of adopting out 100% of our healthy pets from the shelter is ambitious, but with the help of our partners and the public we can do it and we are pleased that we’ve been able to hit that goal so far this year.”

Animal Care Services will host an Open House on Saturday, June 23, from noon to 3:00 p.m. to highlight the changes, and give the public the chance to meet the pets available for adoption. Local veterinarians, obedience instructors, pet supply and pet care vendors will be on hand, along with representatives from pet adoption agencies C.A.R.E., PurrSpot, and Utopia Wildlife Rehabilitators, which rescues and releases wild animals. Guests will have opportunities to sign up to volunteer at the shelter or make donations to support adoption, medical and supply costs for the animals.

Mayor Brown, Animal Services Manager Kevin Konetzka, and the Animal Care Services Commission have laid out the following goals for the newly renamed Animal Care Services:

  • 100% of healthy pets adopted and placed with caring individuals and families;
  • Protect the health and safety of Columbus residents and their pets;
  • Increase public Spay/Neuter financial assistance available through low cost clinics and veterinarian involvement
  • Education programs to increase community awareness of Animal Care Services and proper pet care through outreach programs such as adoption events, educational programs and marketing materials;
  • Increase owner responsibility through training, education and code enforcement, to reduce number of strays and homeless animals
  • Strengthen partnerships with pet rescue agencies like C.A.R.E. and PurrSpot, and Utopia Wildlife Rehabilitators, which rescues and releases orphaned and injured wildlife.

Konetzka explained the city’s expanded goals, placing special emphasis on pet adoptions. “We believe that protecting the public and caring for the many animals in our community can go hand in hand. Everyone benefits when we find homes for stray or homeless animals with individuals or families who can provide quality care. We are working on adopting out 100% of every healthy dog and cat that comes through our shelter. In 2011, 254 cats and dogs were adopted from the shelter, the highest number in four years. Through April of 2012, we have achieved 100% adoption of healthy pets, placing 63 dogs and 15 cats.”

The Johnny O and the Leftovers Band will be performing at the Animal Care Services open house, with a live broadcast from QMIX 107.3 radio station. Prizes from local area vendors will be awarded, along with light refreshments.

The first reading of the ordinance to change the department’s name from Animal Control to Animal Care Services was approved at Tuesday’s night’s City Council meeting. The second and final reading of the ordinance will be on Tuesday, June 19.

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