Pet shelter waiting list grows
More dogs, cats need homes
By James Card
Last year, one in five households adopted pets, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Is was called the “Pandemic Pet” fad.
This year is different.
“Increasingly, we are receiving requests of assistance from people experiencing health issues, homelessness, financial difficulty and other catastrophes,” according to a recent letter sent out by the Humane Society of Waupaca County. “Also, there is no shortage of homeless puppies and incoming kittens.”
“We don’t usually have this long of a waiting list for dogs. It’s pretty normal to have a waiting list for cats to come in but here is a lot on the dog surrender list now, too,” said Monica Gardner, the operations manager. “It’s not normal for that waiting list to be that way and we are still doing the same number of adoptions.”
During the pandemic, the shelter had great success with people fostering, or volunteering to take care of pets on a temporary basis.
Fostering is also a way for people to get to know a pet and over 90% of the people eventually end up adopting the pet.
The Humane Society shelter can host up to 35 dogs and between 55 to 60 cats. Also they usually have a few rabbits and guinea pigs.
The Waupaca shelter works with other animal shelters throughout Wisconsin when they are tight on room.
Recently they sent a puppy to a rescue shelter in Minnesota. The dog is of a herding breed and they have foster homes that are better suited to handle the needs of that type of dog.
They have numerous services in place to keep pets in their homes. People can call for counseling when having difficulties with a pet and if a pet owner is in financial distress there is the Paws in Need program which is like a food pantry but for pets.
To prevent unwanted litters, they host a spay/neuter day and are looking to increase its frequency because demand is high for this service. There are also price options for low-income pet owners. They also host vaccination clinics so the pets are up to date on their shots. The next one will be in January.
The Human Society of Waupaca County has a 95% placement rate for the animals that it takes in.
To adopt a pet there is an application process that usually takes a couple days. The staff offers counseling so a person can pick a pet best suited for their home conditions.
“There is an application involved so that we can make sure that the animals are going to the right place for them and it is the right match for the people, too,” said Gardner.