Animal Shelter Works To Save Dogs In Lubbock

Pit bulls are the number one dog breed facing euthanization in Lubbock.

“Pit bulls are a very abused breed, and that is a sad fact,” said Lauren Cline, volunteer at Saving Grace Pit Bull Rescue, a shelter located at Lollipop Kennels off North Interstate 27 in Lubbock.

Although the volunteer-based rescue organization focuses primarily on pit bulls, they have helped and housed other breeds of dogs as well.

Cline said she started working with another facility and moved to Lollipop Kennels in 2006 and started Saving Grace. She said the rescue shelter is currently housing 65 dogs.

Cline said that if the dog does not seem to be thriving in the atmosphere, such as the mentality of the dog is deteriorating or it seems to display symptoms of depression, the dog may be euthanized.

“We are not a no-kill shelter because there is no way to help all of the ones that come through here,” Cline said.

Shawn Byrd, shelter supervisor for the city of Lubbock’s animal services, said they give each dog they receive a temperament test to decide whether they are adoptable or not.

The temperament tests help to decide if the dog is healthy, food aggressive, or shows any type of negative reaction with other animals or people, he said.

“I try to provoke a reaction out of the dog, tug and pull on them like any child would do to see if they give any sort of reaction,” Byrd said.
He said animal services receive about 13,000 animals per year and about 70 percent of them are euthanized. Byrd said pit bulls are the most euthanized because of their overabundance at the shelter.

Cline said if the rescue shelter decides that a pit bull must be euthanized, she takes them to Acres North Veterinary Hospital and will stay with them, holding them throughout the entire process. She said she wants to be with the dog rather than just dropping them off at the shelter to get euthanized.

“It would be irresponsible of us to just take them to the shelter because we know they can do it there. At least this way they had some one who loved them all the way to end,” Cline said.

Jane Brewer, head veterinarian technician at Acres North Veterinary Hospital, said the rescue shelter has been their client for about six years. She said the hospital will provide any and all vet services such as spaying or neutering, blood work, vaccinations, as well as performing the euthanizing injections.

Brewer said dogs are injected with an overdose of anesthesia, making the animal fall asleep before dying. She said euthanizing injections are very minimal and are only done in extreme cases by the rescue shelter.

Cline said in 2011, 1,873 dogs were euthanized. She said that in order to help decrease those numbers she advocates educating people and spaying or neutering pets.

Cline said the rescue shelter tries to promote education in various ways such as its website, Facebook page, and monthly newsletters. She said that the rescue shelter tries to avoid using media outlets because they usually generate more calls to pick up animals rather than adoptions.

Cline said the rescue shelter reaches out to other shelters for help, such as breed specific shelters if they get dogs other than pit bulls.

Brewer said Saving Grace Pit Bull Rescue is the number two client of the animal hospital in the number of transactions made and the amount of money spent a year.

“We try to save as many as we can, even if it’s not a lot, it’s still important, Cline said.

About Gloria Ogletree
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