After hours drop boxes at metro shelter closing, said to be inhumane

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Changes are coming at the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter. A policy which once allowed pet owners to anonymously drop off animals is now ending. Shelter officials say the practice is out-dated, and many consider it to be inhumane.

For years, there have been drop boxes open every night at the shelter, allowing people to surrender animals. However, in the next few weeks, the doors to the drop boxes are going to close for good.

“We really found it is pretty much an abusive practice to have a drop box,” said Julie Bank, with Oklahoma City Animal Welfare.

In 2014, more than 3,300 animals were left in the drop boxes. Bank says many arrived in need of medical care.

“We had a lot of animals that were in the drop box that had medical injuries or signs of abuse,” said Bank. “We also found animals in the drop box dead or suffering.”

It’s part of why the shelter is closing the boxes.

“The person who found this dog (referring to a dog she’s holding) did the right thing, turned him in over the counter, told us where they found the animal,” Bank said.

Bunny, as they’re now calling the dog, was just turned in on Monday.

The poor pup was found with a rubber band around her snout. The rubber band was embedded so deeply that they only knew it was there because she smelled of infection.

“No dog deserves this. What she deserves now is a really fantastic home,” Bank said.

Since Bunny was handed over at the counter, officials were able to get details about where she was found. But often those animals in the drop box are left with no information, no details as to problems they may have, or what type of home they need.

It’s those details which could help the shelter find the animal a home more quickly.

By eliminating the boxes, animals will have to be dropped off face-to-face.

“We believe this is actually going to help the animals a whole lot more,” Bank said.

As for Bunny, shelter officials hope to either find her owner or find her a new home soon.

“We think she’d be perfect in a home that’s kind of quiet,” Bank said.

The night drop will officially close Oct. 1. After that, animals will have to be dropped off during regular business hours. The shelter plans to actually remove the boxes and build a new wall in their place.

As for Bunny, if you know anything about her or her owners, you are asked to contact Oklahoma City Animal Welfare.

Shelter officials do point out that it’s against the law to abandon an animal in their parking lot or tied to the building.

If you find an animal after hours that is sick, injured, or aggressive, you can call the shelter at 297-2255.

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