PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. – Two central Arkansas animal shelters have the highest number of euthanizations in the state, according to a recent report from Best Friends Animal Society revealed in 2022.
Although the data is from last year, the issue of overcrowding is still a very real problem. Local animal shelters say they are tirelessly working to save animals’ lives and ask the community to step up and help.
North Little Rock Animal Shelter director Adam Tindall said nearly every shelter is dealing with an overpopulation of animals.
“We are managing a problem that has been going on for years,” Tindall said.
Little Rock Animal Village director Tracy Roark said the pandemic increased the number of unwanted animals causing many shelters to be full, a ripple effect that continues.
Both directors said there’s only one real solution.
“Spay and neuter, spay and neuter, spay and neuter your pet that’s the biggest solution to the problem,” Tindall said.
Best Friends Animal Society executive director Jackie Roach said in their recent data from 2022, over 48,000 cats and dogs entered into shelters statewide and around 5 thousand of them were euthanized in Arkansas. Of that number, she said one-third came from Little Rock Animal Village and North Little Rock Animal Shelter.
Both shelters are in Pulaski County. Which according to their data, Pulaski County also had the most cats and dogs entering shelters with just above 9,000 compared to any other county in the state.
Roach said the issue also has to do with community members not adopting or fostering.
“There’s a tendency to always blame the shelter but this is really if a shelter is in crisis then a community is in crisis,” Roach said.
Both shelter directors say they look at all animals individually to determine those are critically injured or overly aggressive.
“That’s not what anyone wants to do, no one wants to do that,” Tindall said. “This is a shortstop in the animal’s life. We want to see them go on and continue that life with a family.”
Tindall says sterilization is key.
“That’s (sterilization) going to be what saves lives because you adopt them one at a time and they’re born 6 to 10 at a time,” Tindall said.
Also, in the report, although more than 48,000 animals were entered into shelters in Arkansas, of that number over 39,000 were saved.
If you would like to adopt or foster, you can contact your local animal shelter.