Answers to Tough Questions About the Animal Shelter
•Why does the shelter euthanize?
In a perfect world we wouldn’t have to euthanize, but the simple fact is that there are too many animals in Alaska without homes. Some animals’ temperaments also make them a liability to families and the community. The shelter will not knowingly place an animal with a history of aggression into adoption.
•My pet is really great and he is well-trained. He won’t be euthanized will he?
We do our best to find homes for the animals brought to the shelter. Not only do we adopt animals on-site, we offer off-site adoptions at local pet and feed stores and we have a website linked to Petfinder.com where others in the community and across the nation can see your pet. The Animal Shelter Fund, an independent non-profit organization, has numerous private donors who generously provide funds for animal needs over and above what is funded by the borough budget. Local businesses sponsor advertisements for pets from the shelter, the Daily News-Miner runs Pet of the Week ads for us, we have community volunteer foster homes to take special needs or under-aged animals in to care for them until they can be adopted, and we have several pet rescue organizations that work with us to find homes for our adoptable animals. However, even with all of this community support, adoptable animals still have to be euthanized. We only euthanize adoptable animals when we’re out of space—we do not euthanize an animal simply because “its time is up”. Just as importantly, euthanasia is not arbitrary: each animal is assessed daily regarding health, temperament, and customer interest. It is not unusual for adoptable, healthy animals to be here for several weeks.
•Why are they euthanized with all that support?
Even with all the support we receive, there are more adoptable pets than there are homes to adopt them.
•What can I do about this?
The best way to reduce euthanasia is to reduce the animal population to a number that can be absorbed by families wanting pets. The best way to do this is to spay or neuter your pet and encourage those you know to do the same.
•How does spaying and neutering help?
Every time a cat or dog has a litter—even if you live in a remote area—it contributes to overpopulation. One pair of breeding dogs can produce as many as 250 dogs in six years. Cats have larger litters and shorter gestation periods, so they produce even more.
•But I can find homes for all the puppies!
Imagine how successful the animal shelter could be if you invited each one of those homes to adopt an existing, homeless pet. You could personally save countless animals from euthanasia!
•What is euthanasia?
Euthanasia stems from the Greek word thanatos for “death” and the prefix eu for “easy” or “good”. The word euthanasia, then, means “easy death” or “good death”.
•Does it hurt?
NO!!! The drug used for euthanasia by injection—the only method of euthanasia recommended by the American Humane Association (AMA) and the only method used by the shelter—is Sodium Pentobarbital. It is a general anesthetic, the same type of drug doctors use to block pain or put surgery patients to sleep. When the drug is administered, the animal simply goes to sleep. Once asleep, more of the drug is administered to stop heart and brain function. It is quick and absolutely painless.
•Who performs euthanasia?
Only staff members trained and certified as Euthanasia Technicians perform euthanasia. Certification is awarded only after training by an AMA-certified trainer and successful completion of a course examination.
Are you ready for an emergency? Do you have a disaster plan for your pets? An emergency kit? Click here for suggestions:
ASPCA Emergency Guidelines
The Fairbanks Animal Shelter Fund needs your support. Monetary donations can do so much to improve the quality of our shelter. Checks can be sent to the Fairbanks Animal Shelter Fund, P.O. Box 71267, Fairbanks AK 99707. Please consider making a donation to our Membership and Renewal Drive. We now offer an automatic option so donors can give $10 a month, or any desired level of support on a regular basis. Join the Fund or give a gift membership to a friend. Members receive monthly shelter email updates. To join, or if you have questions about donations in general, email: Shelter Fund
Many "problems" you may experience with your pet are common to other pet owners. Behavior can be troubleshooted and corrected with training, you don't have to give up on your pet! The shelter has a list of local dog trainers and obedience schools; just ask at the front desk.
Visit our homepage at: Fairbanks Animal Control
On Fort Wainwright: Fort Wainwright Stray Animal Facility
See adoptable sled dogs at:
Second Chance League
A variety of large and small breed dogs can be found at:
Homeward Bound Rescue & Referral
Or check out:
Golden Retriever Rescue
Rescued kitties are at: Pet Pride
Anchorage Animal Shelter: Anchorage Animal Care and Control
MatSu Borough Animal Shelter: MatSu Boro Animal Care and Regulation
Hours of operation:
Monday - Friday: 11am - 6pm
Saturday: 12noon - 5pm
2408 Davis Road (at the corner of Peger Road near the DMV)
Fairbanks, AK 99707
The Fairbanks Animal Shelter is a municipal facility that does adoptions and animal control. Due to the daily high turnover of animals, call or visit the shelter directly to inquire on the availability of a particular animal. Their time is short...
The shelter has a wonderful volunteer program and can always use additional helping hands. Stop by and pick up a volunteer application.
The shelter also needs donations of old newspapers, blankets and towels, stuffed toys, cat and dog toys, and cat and dog food and treats. Foster homes also needed. Anything you can contribute is greatly appreciated!!!!!