West Valley City teams up with Best Friends on no-kill animal shelter
Published: June 6, 2012 08:26AM
Updated: September 11, 2012 11:32PM
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Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune Sam the cat looks up from its cage at the Salt Lake County Animal Shelter on Thursday, as it waits to be adopted. Some animal advocates are asking the West Valley-Taylorsville Animal Shelter to cease use of the gas chamber and set a goal of becoming a no-kill facility. They point to the Salt Lake County Animal Shelter as an example. That shelter offers discount adoptions, works with rescue groups and has longer animal holding times.

West Valley City • A mobile adoption vehicle filled with cats and dogs will be coming to west-side neighborhoods soon.

The West Valley City Council on Tuesday voted 7-0 to approve an agreement with Best Friends Animal Society/No More Homeless Pets to help turn the community’s shelter into a no-kill facility.

Best Friends will provide up to $350,000 of services during the two-year term of the contract. The work will include assisting with at least two long-term adoption campaigns at the West Valley-Taylorsville Animal Shelter with special pricing for cats and dogs; regularly taking out shelter animals on mobile adoptions; and implementing a trap-neuter-return program to save feral cats.

The group also will use its Big Fix program and network of private veterinarians for free spay and neuter surgeries to low-income pet owners. In addition, it will host Neighborhood Pit Bull Day in West Valley City to provide surgeries, microchips and licensing.

The shelter, which will pay Best Friends $45,000 annually, will start opening on Saturdays within the next three months and expand its hours during the week. No-kill actually means low-kill because shelters put down animals that are dangerous, gravely injured or too sick to recover. The West Valley goal is to achieve an 80 percent save rate of dogs and cats.

The shelter took in approximately 5,000 animals last year and put down about 1,550 cats and dogs. Officials say most of those animals were sick, injured or not adoptable because they were vicious or feral.

pmanson@sltrib.com