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Rockingham/Harrisonburg SPCA euthanasia rates are down

New Executive Director, Huck Nawaz, playing with Norman the cat.
New Executive Director, Huck Nawaz, playing with Norman the cat.(WHSV)
Published: Jun. 25, 2019 at 5:53 PM EDT
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Euthanasia rates are down at the Rockingham/Harrisonburg SPCA. Tuesday night, they'll be telling the Harrisonburg City Council why.

There have been a lot of differences between last year and this year for the SPCA. Comparing this year to last year, pet intakes are up 30 percent, adoptions have risen by 35 percent and returns to owner are up 30 percent. Transfers to other shelters have increased by 115 percent as well.

These statistics have led to euthanasians falling by 12 percent.

RHSPCA Executive Director Huck Nawaz says the Charlottesville SPCA taking animals through transfer and assistance from people locally has made a difference.

"Community support has been a big factor, we've been the recipients of free spay and neuter surgeries over the last couple of months. That has helped quite a bit with the animals here in our care," Nawaz said. "Local veterinary practices like Massanutten Animal Hospital have been very kind to us in terms of looking after some of the sick animals."

Free spay and neuter surgeries have been offered by Anicira, Nawaz told WHSV via email that their support "has been instrumental in having adoption numbers go up."

Nawaz tells WHSV that a significant amount of the pet intakes at SPCA have been owner surrenders. According to Nawaz, many people don't have the financial means to care for their pets and moving forward, the SPCA plans to address that.

"The pet overpopulation concerns in this community are very real, and we are hopeful to be able to put programming in place that can mitigate surrender to help folks keep those pets in their homes," Nawaz said.

Adoption rates for dogs are much higher than cats. Through the rest of June, adoption for kittens and adult cats are just $25 at the RSPCA.

Nawaz

in just this past January.

He came into the job with a commitment to address the organization's reputation from

for high euthanization rates.