FARMINGTON -- Of the 322 animals Davis County Animal Care and Control has adopted out during the first quarter of this year, 25 have been members of the rodent family.
The rodents consisted of a family of guinea pigs a Woods Cross resident turned over to the shelter for adoption, said Clint Thacker, director of Davis County Animal Care and Control Services.
Thacker said it took some time, but eventually all the guinea pigs found homes.
More importantly, Thacker said, is that the county's animal services are on pace to top last year's adoption total of 1,132 animals.
So far in 2013, county animal services has taken a different approach, setting a goal of adopting out 100 animals a month. That would result in surpassing last year's number, which was an all-time adoption high, Thacker said.
On Tuesday, the Davis County Commission recognized the efforts of Thacker and his 26-member staff.
The county is enjoying a great deal of success in adopting out its animals because of staff, strategic planning and a partnership with Best Friends Animal Society that has the organization paying a $50 stipend to the county for each animal it adopts out, in turn allowing the county to reduce its adoption rate from $100 to $50 per animal, Thacker said.
That fee includes sterilization, an identification microchip and all vaccinations for the animal, he said.
The county is also marketing its animals more effectively, including participating in local community adoption clinics, such as the Super Adoption Clinic being held this weekend in St. George.
"We are taking 15 animals down there in our service trailer," Thacker said.
But it's the love Davis County-area residents have for pets that may contribute the most to the county's increasing animal-adoption rate. Thacker said that, for whatever reason, it does seem fewer people are buying their pets from breeders and pet shops.
And when it comes to animal adoptions, dogs continue to be the runaway favorite.
Davis County, in the first quarter of this year, has adopted out 206 dogs, compared to 69 cats and 25 rodents, Thacker said.
The county also adopted out 21 fowl and one horse during that same time period, he said.
The service that county animal care and control is providing to residents has reduced the number of complaints relating to animal services the commission at one time received, said Commissioner Louenda Downs.
"It has been a turnaround," said Commissioner Bret Millburn. "People take their pets seriously."