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Posted on Jan 15, 2015

City’s animal shelter reports a fetching year

The Quincy Animal Shelter saw a big jump in adoptions last year, re-homing 39 percent more animals than it did in 2013.

The shelter adopted out 564 animals last year, said Rachel Lewis, shelter manager. Lewis attributes the double-digit jump in adoptions to the shelter’s efforts to build partnerships with other area shelters and animal rescues and to raise awareness of the shelter and its mission within the community.

“And we’re probably looking down the barrel of another big year,” Lewis said of this coming year.

The city last year built a new animal shelter, which staff moved into in October. The project gave the program nearly double the space of its previous building. At an open house in November, Lewis said the new shelter already was full.

While the shelter is adopting out more animals, it also is seeing an increase in animals it is taking in. In 2014, the shelter took in 554 animals.

In comparison, the shelter took in 370 animals in 2013, so 2014 saw a 34 percent increase in animals taken in, Lewis said.

As a result, the shelter has seen a steady increase in its monthly intakes since 2012, when it averaged 29 animals a month. In 2013, the monthly intake average was 31 animals a month, and in 2014 the shelter averaged 46 animals a month, Lewis said.

Lewis expects the monthly intake number to climb. In December alone, 81 animals passed through the shelter’s doors, she added.

“To keep animals flowing through the shelter and to keep the facility from overflowing, you want your outgoing animal count to be more than incoming,” she said. “As long as we can do that we never have to consider euthanizing for space or funding reasons like other shelters have to do. We are dedicated to maintaining our no-kill status. We will continue to build relationships with other shelters and rescue organizations to save animals.”

To help deal with the increase of activity at the animal shelter, the Quincy City Council earlier this month approved the addition of a full-time employee at the shelter. Lewis currently is the only full-time shelter employee. Two employees also work there part time. So one of those part-time positions will be made into a full-time position, Lewis explained.

Lewis expects that full-time employee to be hired within the next month. The additional help will allow Lewis to expand the shelter’s outreach programs in the coming year, she said.

“In the new year, we look forward to the opportunity for some educational outreach as well as a few new volunteer programs we can’t wait to launch,” Lewis said. “We are thrilled at the prospects to come and happy to be helping the animals and the community.”


— By Jill FitzSimmons,