POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - Each year, 1.3 million dogs are euthanized in shelters across the country.
City leaders in Poplar Bluff, Missouri are working to keep their animals from being put down.
Dogs like six-year-old Hope wouldn't have had a chance at Poplar Bluff's Animal Control a year ago.
"She has been so abused that she has scars on her eyeballs and scars on her feet," said Hope's new owner Connie Hurte.
That the terrier-mix is still alive today shows a dramatic turnaround for Poplar Bluff's Animal Control.
"We all have the same goal in mind, we all want to do right by the animals," said Chief Deputy Jeff Rolland.
Since October, Animal control officers say they haven't put down any animals just because they didn't have space to house them.
"A lot of changes have been made, and a lot of changes for the better," said Animal Control Officer Mark Hastings.
Now, empty pens and cages are a sign of the success because officers are finding the animals loving homes.
"I guess you could say social media has paid off…it's a real good tool especially in this application," said Hastings.
"We have great partnerships now with a lot of animal rescues. It is about communication and team building," said Chief Rolland.
In January, animal control offered shelter to 77 dogs, 74 of them were adopted or released to their owners.
Officers say through Facebook, even lost dogs are being reunited with their families faster.
"We photograph the dog and put it on Facebook and hopefully the owner or someone who knows the owner come redeem the dog and that has been very successful here since September," said Officer Hastings.
Hope sat in a pen for months before being adopted.
Her new family said they feel like they're lucky ones to give her a second chance.
"We are really thankful and our gratitude towards them to hold this dog for so long and not put her down" said Hurte.
Poplar Bluff Animal control is not a no-kill shelter.
Officers say they will still euthanize animals for three reasons. If the cat or dog is too sick for medication, if the animal has a life-threatening injury or if the animal is too aggressive to be put up for adoption.
There are still a few dogs and cats who need forever homes, if you're interested please adopt.