Humane Society removes crematorium

Published 2:27 pm Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Foothills Humane Society’s crematorium was removed June 14. Moving the 25,000-pound unit took two days to complete. The crematorium was sold to Good Shepherd, Inc., a pet cremation company that serves many of the area’s vets. They, and numerous other area companies, provide cremation to the public.

Good Shepherd will provide for the cremation needs of the Humane Society as part of the sales contract.

The crematorium has served the community since 1994. However, Humane Society officials say the need for the crematorium has declined substantially over the years. Substantial investments in “Planned Pethood” through the Humane Society’s spay/neuter assistance programs have paid off, as has the “Po Kittie’s” trap/neuter/return program for feral cats. They also say expanded foster, rescue and adoption programs have dramatically improved placement to save lives, and the Internet, e-mail and social media have made a big difference to the shelter’s ability to place animals.

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Euthanasia rates have declined steadily from more than 1,000 animals a year in 2005 to 300 in 2009 and only nine dogs and one cat since the beginning of 2010 a live release rate of 98 percent.

Foothills officials say selling the crematorium will save the shelter a considerable amount in allowing the former crematorium building to be used for intake and isolation units for cats. They have been using the crematorium building as an infirmary for cats with URIs (colds) for months now and they say the cats are getting better much faster. Providing quarantine on intake outside the main shelter building will further improve the health of the shelter cats.

When renovation construction begins, Foothills officials say they will need more fosters and adopters to have enough space for the summer peak “kitten season.” To help move the animals faster during the renovation, Foothills will waive the adoption fee on cats and kittens.

Adoption sponsorship is another way to help if you can’t take an animal. Foothills says it costs $55 to prepare cats for adoption, including spay/neuter surgery, all shots, and a microchip.