Overcrowded Durant animal shelter at capacity

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DURANT, OK -- Nearly 50 animals in Durant are living in an overcrowded shelter. Animal control officers say because of the lack of space, many of the animals have to be euthanized, but you can help. Rita Kotey explains how.

"We do have leash laws in Durant and we have other rules and regulations that people are supposed to follow and they don't always and that's where we come in," Durant Animal Control Officer Mark Lasiter says.

For the past nine months Mark Lasiter has been an animal control officer at the Durant Animal Shelter. He says right now they are at capacity with 45 dogs and 3 cats. Their facility can comfortably hold 35 animals.

"We don't have shelter enough to keep many so we end up having to euthanize some, and it’s the dark side of what we do, but it’s necessary," says Lasiter.

Lasiter says last month alone they had to euthanize at least 40 dogs. He says this time of year many dogs are having puppies and because many owners can’t afford to keep them, the shelter takes them in.

"We find them everywhere. When people have the puppies that they don't want they just drop them off or kick them out on the side of the road and leave them to die. We get calls on them we go pick them up and bring them out here and try to find them homes."

Lasiter says he wants the dogs to rest easy off the street and into good homes. This Saturday the shelter is hosting an adoption day. He says adoption is important because without good homes they may not survive.

"But that one hundred dollars will include all the vet services. We made arrangements with a vet here in town that will do they spay and neuter procedure rabies vaccinations and a general checkup. All that normally is about 150 dollars so if they buy one this weekend they will get a good healthy animal."

If this adoption day is successful Lasiter says he hopes to offer it at least once a month. Adoption day will be Saturday August 29, 2009 from 9:00am to 3:00 pm. The shelter is near the city landfill off South Ninth Avenue at 1619 Blanchard Road. For more information call Durant Police at (580) 924-3737 and ask for animal control.

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