Pet Intakes Reach Record High at Columbia Humane Society

6 years 2 days 39 minutes ago June 21, 2011 Jun 21, 2011 Tuesday, June 21 2011 Tuesday, June 21, 2011 5:57:00 PM CDT in News
By: Jake Schlegel
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COLUMBIA - Pet intakes at the Columbia Central Humane Society have reached a record high this summer. In the last four months, the Humane Society took in more than 2-thousand cats and dogs, well over the 15-hundred from that time last year.

The Humane Society said Tuesday that the economy is largely to blame for the 33 percent increase in pet intakes. People find it hard to come up with the money to properly take care of their pets. Shelter Relations Coordinator, Allison Brown, said, "With this economy, you know if people have lost their jobs, they just really can't afford maybe [even] the vet care or things like that for their pets."

However, Brown said that sometimes the Humane Society can provide pet food for those in need. "We have a pet food bank and so any [extra] food that is donated we provide [for people]. It's only based off of donations but if we have extra and you can't afford it, then we definitely try to accommodate and give you what we can to help out."

The Columbia Humane Society can house about 75 dogs and 100 cats, so it relies on foster parents to take care of the animals and help make them more adoptable. Brown said, "If we're running tight on space we can call out our foster parents and say hey can you take something for maybe just the weekend until some more get adopted."

Pets that aren't adopted from the Columbia Humane Society get shipped off to rescue groups such as Project Precious Paws, Happy Tails and Columbia Second Chance. Columbia Second Chance Coordinator, Diann Stelzer, said, "A lot of it is about education. People do not, they just don't spay and neuter their pets."

The Columbia Humane Society only euthanizes pets as a last resort if pets have heart disease, leukemia or other severe diseases.

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