'Countdown to Zero' aims to stop putting animals to sleep

Initiative passes to save thousands of animals

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Rocco is just one of the cats who call the Animal Care and Control Center home. But there's a good chance he will find a permanent home.

But down the hall are the nameless felines. They're feral and will be euthanized in three days.

"We work with about 80 placement partners that give us places to give dogs to but there's none for cats," said David Walesky from Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control.

The county commission passed a resolution drawn up by the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue and Animal Care and Control. The 'Countdown to Zero' campaign would put more money toward sterilizing the animals that come into the shelter and the ones in the wild.

"You actively trap you get them spayed and vaccinated against disease and put them back in the community," said Rich Anderson, CEO of The Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League.

The director of the county animal control says whether they live or die, every time a dog or cat comes through these doors it costs $400.

"We know that in the past when our budget included an additional 500,000 for sterilization that we saw our numbers go down," said Diane Saube, Director of Animal Care and Control.

Walesky says in the short-term, catching and sterilizing feral cats may cost more but will save money down the road. Right now Animal Control cannot say how cost effective it will be.

"I know what you want me to say but I can't honestly say that without really looking at it I know what we want to do is have programs in place to prevent that animal from coming here to begin with," said Walesky.

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