An estimated 6 million animals enter the shelter system every year across the U.S.
Between 1.5 million and 2 million of those dogs and cats are killed each year.
Thomas Armstrong is no stranger to helping animals; he started the Fallen Horse Rescue program in 2012, and now he has been asked by the Mathis Police Department to help with the city’s ever-growing stray animal population.
“Community help and city help is a big support. I can make the little changes, and with help, we can make bigger changes,” said Mathis Animal Shelter kennel attendant Thomas Armstrong.
The Mathis Animal Shelter had close to a 100-percent euthanasia rate due to not having the resources to find the animals adoption homes or foster homes.
“We desperately need fosters – somebody that will take in a dog that’s a rescue say they will save, and foster that dog for 2 weeks, get it to a vet one time and then get it on a transport so the rescue can get to its new home and they can work that adoption,” said Armstrong.
Armstrong not only wants to get the animals off the streets, but also wants to save their lives.
“The animals all need somebody that cares for them. They need to know that there is somebody out there that will love them and take care of them. And that is what keeps me going, knowing I saved a life, and tomorrow I will save another one,” said Armstrong.
Since January, the animal shelter has been a no-kill shelter with Armstrong saving more than 400 dogs that would’ve normally been put to sleep.
“That is due to places like Shelter a Mutt, the Love of Strays, Lost Paws, Guardian Gals, Gulf Coast Humane Society, and many others that have tagged these dogs that go unclaimed and unwanted, and they pull them to rescue and vet them, spay them, andneuter and get them to a new home,” said Armstrong.
The Mathis Animal Shelter will only euthanize if an animal is extremely ill, injured, or dying or if it is aggressive or has behavioral issues.
Armstrong also said that of all the dogs he’s saved, none have had city tags, which usually means that they don’t have their shots and are more than likely not spayed or neutered, which would later add to unwanted litters roaming the streets.
As far as the animal facility goes, Armstrong says he plans for changes, and with these changes things will be a lot easier to help control the population in the shelter, which allows for more control of disease outbreak, adoptions, length of stay, upper respiratory disease and unnecessary euthanasia.
For more information on the Mathis Animal Shelter visit: https://m.facebook.com/groups/212578822636249