Overall, the Animal Welfare division in Oklahoma City reported a year of improvements. And many of the positive trends in 2015 were attributed to people in the community.
Officials said fewer animals ended up in shelter kennels compared to 2014. And more of the ones who were there, found a new home.
“We’ve seen in seven years, a trend that was pretty pitiful, to something that we can be very proud of,” said Julie Bank with OKC Animal Welfare.
Donations of both money and time were also up in 2015, Bank said. They even beefed up the volunteer program as a result.
“There have been more people engaged in animal issues in Oklahoma City in the last year,” she added.
Bank said she believes more people reported strays and possible animal cruelty cases in 2015 as well.
“Where in the past, people might have looked the other way,” she said.
In the last year, alleged livestock neglect made headlines in Oklahoma City multiple times -- from a horse covered in lacerations, left to die to 41 malnourished cattle seized from a piece of property.
For 2016, animal control officers will add another focus to their field work, with a uniform change and all.
“They have a new patch on the arm that says, ‘Enforcement. Rescue. And Education.’” Banks told News 9.
Not only will they enforce the law and rescue animals in need, but they'll help teach the animal owners how to do the right thing.
In order to maintain improvements for 2016, shelter officials stressed the importance of ID’ing your pet, keeping it secured, searching for it if it gets out and asking for help if you need it.