The Forrest O. Triplett animal shelter’s 2014 statistics have been calculated, and Lesley Patek, shelter guardian, said she is happy with the numbers. “I think we do an excellent job, but we can’t save the world,” she said. Fortunately, the shelter had to take 78 fewer dogs into the shelter in 2014 than the previous year, and the shelter’s dog adoptions increased slightly by 5 from the previous year, which put the shelter at 56 adoptions for 2014. However, the number of dogs sent to rescues decreased significantly. In 2013, 276 dogs were sent to rescues, and in 2014 158 dogs went to rescues. Therefore, 118 fewer dogs found a home this past year. The euthanization rate for dogs remained the same from 2013 to 2014, which was 17 percent. The shelter has seen a steady increase in cat intake for the past several years. In 2012 the shelter took in 301 cats, and in 2013, 355 were taken in, increasing intake by 54 cats. In 2014, cat intake increased by 38, putting the shelter at 393 cats for the year. The amount of animals taken in by the shelter, in comparison to surrounding areas is substantial. For example, according to Cameron shelter staff, the Cameron facility took in 292 dogs (173 fewer than Livingston County) and 106 cats (287 less than Livingston County). Brookfield animal shelter staff said they took in 422 dogs (43 less than Livingston County) and 145 cats (248 less than Livingston County). Patek said the reason the local shelter is seeing an increase in the feline population is because owners are not getting their pets spayed or neutered. When owners don’t fix their animals and let them walk around town breeding, not only will there be a litter of kittens or puppies born, but then those kittens or puppies will have kittens or puppies, etc. That’s why the pet population is out of control, Patek said. Patek said she also sees a lot of owners pack up and move and leave their animals behind; or, she sees owners get a puppy or kitten, and when it grows up and isn’t as cute and little anymore, they kick it out of the house. Those homeless (likely unfixed) animals will wander around town and breed, which also contributes to the homeless animal population. “We had to put down litters and litters of kittens this year,” Patek said. Cat adoptions remained the same at 55 from 2013 to 2014. Rescued cats decreased from 10 to zero, and euthanizations increased by 47 (going from 205 to 252). Currently, the euthanization rate at the Livingston County animal shelter for cats is 64 percent due to the large number of cats and limited resources available. “Cat euthanizations are always outrageous,” Patek said. The shelter is not equipped to hold a lot of cats. There is very limited space at the shelter, and many of the cats that come into the shelter need to be quarantined (requiring even more space) because the majority of them are sick or aggressively feral (wild). Feral cats can’t be in an enclosure with other cats, because the feral cat may hurt the other cats. Sick cats also can’t be around others because diseases will spread, and the shelter won’t be able to keep up with medical expenses. Patek also said cat viruses were heavy in 2014. Patek, who goes to local vet offices daily, said even the veterinarians would comment on how many cat viruses they had seen this past year. When a tame, adoptable cat comes in sick, Patek said she will usually give the cat about two weeks of medicine, and if there is no improvement, she has to resort to euthanasia due to medical expenses and space issues. Patek said she’s even quarantined a cat in the shelter’s bathroom before to try to save it, but “you can only do that for so long,” she said. Feline rescues are currently in the same boat as the shelter, according to Patek, when it comes to receiving an overabundance; therefore, there aren’t a lot of good opportunities for cats that go into the shelter. At the local facility, 252 homeless cats and 81 homeless dogs had to be put down last year, which is no fault of the animal’s or of the animals shelter’s, but more so a fault of irresponsible animal owners, Patek said. To try to improve the shelter’s cat euthanizations rate, Patek is looking into different grants to add on a cat room to the shelter. This would give Patek more space for cats, and would give more space to safely quarantine sick animals. Patek wants to remind people to spay and neuter their animals to help with pet overpopulation locally, and worldwide. She also reminds Chillicothe pet owners to register their pets with City Hall by March 15. To license your pet, bring proof of your pets’ rabies vaccination. The cost to license an unfixed dog is $15, a fixed dog costs $7.50, an unfixed cat is $7.50 and a fixed cat is $4.50. These prices may increase by 50 cents this year, depending upon approval of Patek’s request to do so by the Chillicothe City Council. There has been a significant decrease in the number of people licensing their animals since citizens began paying their city taxes at the county courthouse in 2010. The last year (fiscal year of 2010-2011) people were able to pay taxes at City Hall, the shelter received $5,346 through pet license fees, which helped with shelter expenses. The 2011-2012 fiscal year (the first year of taxes through the county) only brought in $4,954, and this fiscal year has only brought in $3,873 so far. Rose Frampton, city clerk, said she thinks many aren’t paying their pet license fees because it’s not as convenient anymore. When taxes could be paid at City Hall, dog and cat owners could also get their pet licenses while they were there. “We’re trying to think of ways to get more people in (to City Hall) to license their pets,” Frampton said.