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The year 2019 ended with 21 dogs and 60 cats being cared for at the Bella Vista Animal Shelter. There was no longer a waiting list for people wanting to drop off stray cats, shelter manager Laurie Mays said.

Throughout the year, the shelter has taken in 424 dogs, mostly from the city of Bella Vista, although the total includes 42 dogs from outside the city. Many of them, some 242, were reclaimed by owners. There were 190 adoptions with 18 dogs returned.

Some 15 dogs were sent on to other rescue groups.

Only two dogs were euthanized and that was because they had been severely injured by vehicles and had no chance of recovery.

"No animals were put down because of space," Mays said.

The shelter took in 221 cats in 2019, with 185 adopted. There were eight cats returned. Five cats were euthanized because of severe injuries, often inflicted by a vehicle, but at least one cat was injured by an animal attack.

The euthanasia rate is less than one percent, executive director Dee Dee Knight-Matney said. A fact sheet from the American Humane Society web page states the national euthanasia rate for shelters is 64 percent.

Because the Bella Vista Shelter is a nonprofit, not a city department, it depends on fundraisers for about 24 percent of its operating expenses. Most of the popular fundraisers are annual events, including the Wiener Takes All dog races and a golf tournament. Most of the events will continue in 2020, Knight-Matney said.

About 51 percent of the budget comes from donations, and the remaining 25 percent comes from a contract with the city of Bella Vista based on the number of animals picked up by animal control.

The shelter is run by a board of directors. The board's annual meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Jan. 22 at the Country Club, Knight-Matney said. There will be an election to fill three or four board positions. Candidates can fill out an application in advance at the shelter if they would like to serve on the board.

General News on 01/08/2020

Print Headline: Shelter reports intake for year

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