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Partnering to save lives

Heather Hernandez, Oklahoma City Animal Welfare transfer coordinator, and Michele Sherman, OK Humane intake manager, work together on a potential dog to transfer. [Photo Provided]
Heather Hernandez, Oklahoma City Animal Welfare transfer coordinator, and Michele Sherman, OK Humane intake manager, work together on a potential dog to transfer. [Photo Provided]

In 2016, more than 9,000 animals were transferred from Oklahoma City Animal Welfare to partner groups around the state of Oklahoma and across the country. About 150 different groups assisted in this effort to help find homes for the animals.

These partnerships have been crucial to the success of Oklahoma City Animal Welfare. These partnerships not only placed animals into loving homes but also helped provide services to the community.

In 2007, Oklahoma City Animal Welfare and the Central Oklahoma Humane Society entered into a formal partnership in order to increase the live release rate in the Oklahoma City community to 75 percent. At the time, the live release rate was only about 25 percent. Now, the community live release rate is at 70 percent. The community live release rate is the percentage of all dogs and cats coming into the shelter that are able to be saved. The Central Oklahoma Humane Society took in more than 3,400 animals from Oklahoma City Animal Welfare in 2016. This partnership also helped provide low-cost spaying and neutering, low-cost vaccines, trap neuter return programs, a community cat program and many other services to the Oklahoma City community.

The Bella Foundation SPCA has also been an important partner for Oklahoma City Animal Welfare. In 2016, they took in more than 400 animals for their adoption program. They have also partnered to provide low-cost vaccine and microchip clinics at the shelter and other locations around the city. Hundreds of animals have received vaccines and microchips due to this partnership. Bella also provides veterinary assistance to pet owners who might have unexpected vet care that they are unable to afford. In many cases, this program has kept owners from having to surrender the pet to the shelter.

A new partnership was formed in 2015 when a nonprofit group, Patrons of OKC Animal Welfare, was formed. This group was formed to help provide funding and support that is beyond what the city is capable of. This partnership will be beneficial in helping to continue to provide and expand community programs like free spaying and neutering to the residents of Oklahoma City. They have formed a great board and are looking forward to helping do great things for animals in Oklahoma City. If you would like to help support Patrons, you can do this through PayPal by using the Patrons’ e-mail address, patronsokc@gmail.com.

For more information on Oklahoma City Animal Welfare and how to be a part of saving animals’ lives in Oklahoma City, visit the website at www.okc.gov/animalwelfare

Jonathan Gary

Jonathan Gary is Oklahoma City Animal Welfare superintendent. He has worked at Oklahoma City Animal Welfare for 18 years, working in all areas of operation leading up to his promotion to superintendent in August 2016. Read more ›

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