Garden City shelter sees spike in strays

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GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — On January 1, the Humane Society took over operation of Garden City’s animal shelter from the Animal Control department.

Since then, they’ve seen a boom in the number of strays that have been brought in.

“We’ve had over 150 dogs come in, just in the month of January,” said Stephanie McGaughey, who runs the shelter. “Most of them were strays, but some of them were owner-released animals.”

Officials expect that number to keep going up.

Last January, they had 110 dogs come in.

As 2016 wore on, the two animal control officers had less and less time to patrol the streets for stray dogs, because they also had to run the shelter.

“May of last year was when they were last out on the street,” said McGaughey, “so it’s been several months of stray animals running around that they’re able to go out and finally capture and bring down to the shelter.”

City officials confirm that the rise in the number of impounds is because of the management change.

“They’re out there catching up, backtracking some of the litters that were born throughout the year last year,” said McGaughey.

Garden City is paying the Humane Society $216,000 a year to run the shelter, about the same amount the city spent to run it themselves.

Officials say with animal control focusing on patrolling, it will have a long-term effect on keeping the stray population in check.

“It’s definitely going to help population control go down over the course of months or years,” said McGaughey, “just by catching all the strays running around out there that are unfixed. They aren’t going to be breeding. They’ll be down here.”

The shelter also serves Finney County. They upped their contribution to $77,000 this year to help take care of the stray population.

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