Important news today from the Scratch Pad COMMON BONDS Newsletter: The number of dogs and cats killed in Oklahoma dropped by nearly 700 animals in 2022, differing from what the data showed nationally: the number of dogs and cats killed in U.S. shelters had a setback, with an increase to around 378,000, up from 355,000 in 2021. This was largely due to shelters experiencing higher intakes and lower adoptions. Targeted programming proven to save more lives, including partnerships between no-kill and not yet no-kill shelters, as well as shelters and rescue groups, Best Friends staff embeds, cat and big-dog-focused initiatives, and advocacy work can help fix the problem.
In 2022, 8,406 animals were killed in Oklahoma animal shelters despite the drop in the state’s intake numbers. Oklahoma’s save rate did increase slightly to 81.3%, driven largely by Ardmore Animal Care, which had the highest lifesaving improvement rate of any shelter in the nation. Additional state highlights for the year included the formation of Healthy Animals, Healthy Tulsa, a hyper-local coalition of 14 participating shelters and rescues that provides nonpartisan educational resources to the Tulsa community, which included a city council candidate survey focusing on animal welfare in Tulsa.
Also, while there was an increase in no-kill animal shelters in Oklahoma last year, nearly two in three shelters in the state fell short of the 90% threshold.
“Oklahoma saw more than a 10% increase in no-kill shelters in the state during 2022, but nearly 62% of state shelters have yet to reach this status,” said Brent Toellner, Senior Director, Lifesaving Programs, Best Friends Animal Society. “Looking ahead, we believe our work with Common Bonds will help us continue moving toward our mutual goal of no-kill 2025, emphasizing collaboration as a key to success in Oklahoma’s animal lifesaving efforts.”