Animal Services Shares Latest Accomplishments with City Council

During Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Interim Animal Services Director Kurt Fenstermacher announced that the Animal Services Shelter has a live release rate of 53% for the month of January 2016, the highest live release rate the shelter has ever seen.

The 53% live release rate for January 2016 follows last month’s 50% live-release rate for the month of December 2015. These two consecutive live release rates of 50% or greater is also a first ever for the Animal Services Shelter.

“This is big news for not only the Animal Services Shelter but the entire community,” said Kurt Fenstermacher, Interim Animal Services Director. “This means the work of many is paying off and resulting in more animals being saved.”

In addition to the improved rates, the Animal Services Shelter has interviewed and hired a third veterinarian. This additional veterinarian will allow the shelter to increase the number spay/neuter procedures currently being performed on shelter animals.

The veterinarian is expected to start work by the end of March.

Other information shared during today’s City Council meeting included a progress update on the animal shelter’s processing software which staff will begin training on this week. Full implementation of the software is expected to be in place by the end of spring.

The efforts and services of the Animal Services Shelter support the City of El Paso’s strategic goal to nurture and promote a healthy, sustainable community. For more information, visit Animal Services at  or contact us at (915) 842-1000.

In an effort to address the high euthanasia rate at the Animal Services Shelter, City Manager Tommy Gonzalez created a task force with the purpose of identifying animal shelter best practices that result in an increased live release rate. In their effort to identify best practices, this task force visited several successful animal shelters that once suffered from low live release rates but are now seeing their live release rate increase.

In addition, the task force also sought input from residents through various community meetings, and also met with animal rescue groups throughout the region. Through this research, the task force identified key characteristics and best practices that were common among “no-kill” shelters.

This information was recently presented to council as part of a five year plan that aims at reaching a live release rate of 90% or greater by the end of fiscal year 2016.

Last month, City Council approved the initial funding needed to begin implementing this plan.