HC commissioners approve updated animal shelter report

NEW CUMBERLAND — Despite errors and discrepancies found in recent reports, the Hancock County Animal Shelter had posted better numbers than reported for the first three months of this year, according to assistant prosecuting attorney Mike Lucas.

During Thursday’s meeting, the Hancock County Commission approved an updated report from the shelter, which covered incoming and outgoing animals at the shelter between Jan. 1 and March 31 of this year.

The January, February and March shelter reports had already been approved by the commission in previous meetings, but Lucas explained that shelter officials recently found discrepancies with some of the information that was put in the shelter’s system, and were later corrected and reflected in the new report.

Lucas spoke on behalf of shelter director of humane operations Nichole Felouzis, who was unable to attend Thursday’s meeting due to illness.

“When these things had been cross-referenced with some other information, they noticed some errors and continue to investigate some matters, and realized that going back to that date, they had found some discrepancies between the documents that they had on their records and when they were transferred out to an official report,” Lucas said.

According to the updated count for January, 102 animals (79 cats, 22 dogs and one other) were brought in, one cat returned from adoption, five cats and three dogs returned from foster care and nine cats returned from other matters.

In terms of animals out for January, 59 animals (55 cats and four dogs) were adopted, one cat and one died in shelter, three cats were euthanized, 13 dogs and one cat were fostered, eight cats and five dogs were reclaimed, three cats were released to the wild, two cats and four dogs were transferred out.

For February’s updated count, 62 animals (35 cats, 25 dogs and two others) were brought in, one dog and one cat were returned from adoption, 10 cats and eight dogs returned from foster care, and seven cats and one dog were returned from other circumstances.

For outgoing animals that month, 51 animals (44 cats and seven dogs) were adopted, two cats died in shelter, four dogs were euthanized, 20 cats and eight dogs were fostered, two cats and eight dogs were reclaimed, two cats were released into the wild and seven dogs were transferred out.

In March, 96 animals (68 cats and 28 dogs) were brought into the shelter, two cats returned from adoption, nine cats and five dogs returned from foster care and eight cats and one dog returned from other matters.

That same month, 68 animals (59 cats, seven dogs and two others) were adopted, two cats died in shelter, one cat escaped, four cats and four dogs were euthanized, 18 cats and nine dogs were fostered, seven dogs were reclaimed, and 11 dogs and one cat were transferred out.

Lucas said, however, that the new reports indicated that the shelter actually did better than what had been originally reported, to which there were 42 more adoptions than previously reported, and eight more animals were fostered than initially reported, while euthanizations increased by one.

“Some there just some discrepancies that ended up being a no-net change in the numbers, but that is a general summary of what they have,” Lucas said.

Lucas also stated that based on the investigation, the animal intake did not appear to be the issue, but rather for animals that were outgoing from the shelter. He also said that it was unclear whether the incorrect reports were due to clerical error or a software glitch, which he said is still be investigated.