Animal shelters across the country are at or above capacity, leaving little room for new arrivals. Unfortunately, dogs who are not adopted are often euthanized. Tough decisions such as these are made in every city in the country everyday, and the Fort Worth Animal Shelter goes through this difficult procedure nearly 17,000 times a year.
Fort Worth Animal Shelter manager Keane Menefee says they took in 23,000 dogs and cats in 2007—that's about 50 dogs each day. Sadly, only four of those 50 dogs found each day were adopted. "Unfortunately, at times it seems like there's a never-ending line of [animals] coming in, but there's not a never-ending line of people to take them out."
The shelter puts down more than 40 animals each day, and Keane has the difficult task of deciding which animals are euthanized. "The euthanasia decision is almost more difficult than the actual euthanasia process itself," he says. "You're deciding life and death on a daily basis."
Animals can be chosen for a number of reasons, including medical issues, behavior issues and simple shelter capacity issues. When an animal is chosen, a red E is marked on their cage, and they only have one more day to be adopted.