STOCKTON, CA - Stockton has seen a dramatic increase in the number of dogs arriving at the animal shelter, leading to a sharp rise in the number of animals being killed.
The shelter took in 574 dogs last month, up from 445 dogs in August 2010. The additional intake led to 466 dogs being euthanized between Aug. 1 and Sept. 1.
RELATED STORY: Stockton shelter defends spike in animal killings
News10 previously reported 466 as the total number of animals put down at the shelter; the number failed to include cats, which brings the actual shelter total to 971.
Shelter supervisor Pat Claerbout, who began Aug. 1, has been targeted by critics for the high number of killings on her watch.
Claerbout said that shelter staff had delayed destroying a number of animals that were unadoptable prior to her arrival, which led to dangerous overcrowding.
Claerbout also blamed the uninviting condition of the shelter and its location for an abysmal adoption rate.
"Everything you should do to make a place welcoming, this place is the opposite," Claerbout said.
Other valley communities have built shelters that not only hold more animals, but make the adoption process more enjoyable for prospective pet owners.
Manteca will open a new $2 million shelter in October that resembles a pet store to replace the aging facility down the street that is surrounded by razor wire.
Manteca city spokesman Rex Osborn said one of the goals of the new shelter was to increase the adoption rate.
Claerbout said one bright spot at the Stockton shelter was Monday's arrival of a team from the San Francisco SPCA which picked up six dogs for adoption in the Bay Area.
She said the rescue group had not been interested in Stockton's dogs for a number of months because of an earlier parvo outbreak.
By George Warren, GWarren@news10.net