SAND SPRINGS, Oklahoma - Major investments in the animal shelter are having a big  impact on the number of animals they're saving.

The city says its euthanasia rates have come down dramatically because of it. They've been making a shift from animal control to animal welfare over the last few years. Some big improvements have helped them do that.

A new truck, a washer and dryer, and a tub for volunteers to wash dogs, are just some of the new things sand springs animal welfare has added since 2016.

Animal Welfare Investigator Tracy Arvidson says with the equipment and added programs, they're able to handle the growing number of cats and dogs that need care. This year; 493 dogs and 249 cats.

"The numbers that we take care of are going up every year, and we've been able to put in some good programs with volunteers and foster homes and really networking with other groups," Arvidson said.

A change in policy, also means they're euthenizing fewer animals. In 2016, the city euthenized 29 percent of dogs, compared to four percent this year, and 99 percent of cats three years ago, is down to just nine percent this year.

"It feels great to be able to be able to get that euthenasia rate down, it's really good," Arvidson said.

Arvidson says vaccinating, sterilizing and reintroducing feral cats to the area they were picked up in, instead of euthenizing them, is the biggest factor.  Those cats can then keep snake and rodent populations in check. And -- fixing cats and dogs helps improve the overpopulation problem.

"Doing what we should be doing, which is doing animal welfare, we do animal control as well, we enforce the ordinances, but we should absolutely be doing the animal welfare part and doing our part to make sure we're euthenizing as few as possible," Arvidson said.

They'd like to move into a larger facility, but Arvidson says for now they'll keep improving this one.