Overcrowding at Humane Society for Hamilton County could lead to euthanasia
Number of surrendered pets has doubled
Last Updated: 107 days ago
HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. - Officials with The Humane Society for Hamilton County fear the no-kill shelter may be forced to look to euthanasia as a possibility because of an overcrowding problem.
For every happy ending that leads to an adoption at the shelter, there are dozens of animals surrendered by their owners every week.
The tags on the cages of dogs and cats say it all. Surrender/unwanted. Unrealistic expectations. Moving. What the tags don't say is shelter in trouble.
“I probably cry every day passing the cage or kennel of one of these animals," Executive Director Rebecca Stevens said.
On a normal week, 60 to 65 dogs and cats are surrendered by their owners or are picked up as strays, but within the past week, that number has doubled, officials said.
"This is Gracie. She's a 15-year-old cat that's owner-surrendered because they're moving," Stevens said.
Gracie represents the norm instead of the exception -- older animals are being given up and are becoming the shelter's problem.
The humane society must now look at whether its no-kill philosophy is realistic, given its issues of overcrowding, the number of elderly animals and the mounting medical bills.
Patti Bennet was at the shelter to rescue the dog of a family friend that was adopted and then turned over to the humane society.
"Once I found out the dog was here, I came here first thing Monday at noon to pick up the dog," Bennet said.
Officials at the shelter are unsure why people are surrendering their family pets, but they do know it's leading to a critical problem.
Shelter officials were left pleading to the community for help to step up and give the animals a good home before the shelter is forced to do what it believes is unthinkable.
The humane society has reduced adoption fees for older dogs and cats, starting at $15. The shelter is also looking for foster homes for dogs and cats.
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