The business of animal control can be tough.
Indeed, “success” when in regard to the capturing of, caring for and euthanizing of animals — typically cats and dogs — often is based on modest year-to-year improvements in outcome.
Metro Animal Care and Control saw its adoption numbers rise and its euthanization numbers fall in 2012, according to Judy Ladebauche, the facility’s veteran director.
Ladebauche said MACC last year took in 9,377 animals, of which 7,179 were euthanized.
“The numbers are better,” she said. “Our intake was lower, which automatically means our euthanasia rate was lower than in 2011.
“Certainly, we would like the adoption numbers to be higher, but they were up about 2.5 percent from the 2011 numbers,” she added.
On another encouraging note, the facility is now participating in the Mars Pedigree Shelter Feeding Program. Williamson County-based Mars Petcare supplies all MACC’s dog food.
“This allows us to use funds that were typically used for food to be used for adoption education and outreach,” Ladebauche said.
Disturbingly, Davidson County experienced a slight (less than 1 percent) increase in reported dog bites in 2012.
“We’re not quite sure why,” Ladebauche said. “Some of it might be more people are reporting bites. We’re monitoring it and looking at expanded opportunities to go into day care facilities to do outreach with children, who are often victims of dog bites. We’re working with the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, which has a dog bite prevention program. That will certainly help.”
Ladebauche said MACC is increasingly handling chickens and goats. In 2012, the agency — which operates within the Metro Health Department — dealt with both domestic animals (including horses, a cow and five pigs) and wildlife.
Ladebauche said MACC will once again work with the Nashville Humane Association, which operates a roving spay-and-neuter van. She encourages citizens to take advantage of the service before spring breeding season.
“You always think you’ll see dramatic changes [from year to year],” Ladebauche said. “But that doesn’t happen. The changes are small steps, but we have to be thankful.”
*Animals MACC officers picked up in the field: 3,378
*Animals delivered to MACC: 5,999
*Total: 9,377 (bites represent 367 of the animals taken in, with cruelty cases representing 73 of the number)
* Adoptions: 1,211
* Euthanizations: 7,179
* Relocations back to the wild: 96
* Returns to owner: 553
* Transfers: 95 (this number represents those animals that were not adopted and that MACC later sent to the Nashville Humane Association shelter)
* Percent of non-cat/non-dog animals MACC handled: 5