It’s been a year since Kristy Loye went to the Animal Resource Center in Texas City in search of her 10-year-old cat.
The cat wasn’t there, but Loye happened to see a tiny, scrawny kitten that she could not leave behind. She adopted him on the spot and named him Thomas.
“At first, he didn’t know what to think about our family and then he figured out that he owned us and we were his responsibility,” she said.
Thomas has grown in size and serenity in his first year and is quite content in his Dickinson home, Loye said.
“He is a great addition to our family,” she said. “He likes to sing like no other cat I’ve ever heard, which is great unless it’s 5 a.m. and he wants breakfast.”
The beloved cat that went missing was never found, but Thomas has helped fill the void and brings the family endless amusement, she said.
This kitten was among a record number of adoptions finalized over the past year at the center, 3412 Loop 197 N., in Texas City.
The center announced this week that the number of pet adoptions had almost doubled in the past four years — to 1,500 this year from 775 in 2012.
Meanwhile, the adoption rate rose to 30 percent in 2016, up from just 10 percent in 2012, shelter officials said.
Also, less than 5,000 animals had arrived at the facility so far this year, which was down from more than 8,000 in 2012 and marks a five-year low, shelter manager Amber Adams said.
“The news is good,” Adams said. “Our numbers are going in the right direction.”
“We have many wonderful pets waiting for homes and it is our greatest wish that we place every single one of them with people who will love and care for them.”
Because more animals have been placed, fewer have been euthanized than in previous years, although the number is still about 38 percent — 1,875 animals.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reports the average euthanasia rate for dogs in shelters is 31 percent and for cats it’s 41 percent.
The dramatic improvement is because of increased adoption incentives and greater awareness and support of spay/neuter programs, Adams said.
This year, the center has offered half price-specials, reduced rates for senior animals and for those with mostly black fur. It also has participated in more community events.
“Our emphasis on spay/neuter programs is starting to pay off as the center sees fewer incoming strays,” Adams said.
The Animal Alliance was built to offer low-cost spay and neuter services and programs such as SNIP, Paws 911 and BootKikkers Bingo pitch in to help with the cost, she said.
Social media efforts have also helped create awareness for the center’s pets and have helped to make some wonderful matches, Adams said.
“Tracy Keirnan saw one our dogs on Facebook and decided to adopt him,” Adams said. “She drove all the way from Florida with her daughter to pick him up and they all three made the long trip home.”