TYLER - The Tyler euthanasia rate has dropped significantly in recent years, and with the opening of the new Tyler Animal Shelter, officials said it's possible to become a no-kill shelter.
Since 2015, the euthanasia rate decreased significantly from approximately 70 percent to 21.55 percent as of this morning.
"Which is awesome. We've been able to partner with over 80 rescue groups, get animals out, transfer them to other rescues, adopt them out," Tyler Animal Shelter Manager Shawn Markmann said. "One of our biggest ones, getting them reclaimed by their owners."
He said the old shelter was too small and not aesthetic.
"It didn't even have a store front," he said.
The new shelter is located on 4218 Chandler Hwy and can house up to 168 animals.
Pet adopter Lucy Strom-Miller said she's hopeful the new shelter will help lower the euthanasia rate, but she said there still is work that needs to be done.
One concern is removing the stereotype that all shelter animals are unhealthy.
"I don't know that people know they can walk into a shelter and get a healthy dog," she said.
Markmann acknowledged the problem, too.
"There's always that stereotype that any little behavioral problem is blamed on it being a shelter [animal]," he said.
The new shelter has rooms for lab work and surgery, and even isolation rooms to keep disease from spreading.
All of these additions will drive the euthanasia rate down, according to Markmann.
"We're going to focus on re-homing. We're going to focus on adopting animals out," he said. "The focus doesn't need to be on euthanasia. The focus needs to be on programs moving animals out."
The temporary shelter on West Grande is still the acting shelter until the animals are moved over at the end of this month.
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