Central Missouri Humane Society emphasizes adoption as number of homeless pets rises

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The Central Missouri Humane Society is the most full it has ever been. With numbers continuing to rise, a greater emphasis has been placed on adoption.

The shelter will release its list with final numbers from August early next week, which includes strays and animals surrendered by their owners. Cats, dogs, guinea pigs and rabbits are all on that list. Statistics and further information are all found on the Central Missouri Humane Society's website.

Since the Central Missouri Humane Society is so full, it cannot accept every new animal. Some are sent to other shelters, or put on waiting lists.

This summer saw record high cases, and the waiting list grew.

Employee Madi Lyon attributes some of these cases to students.

"Some college kids move home for the summer who don't want or can't take their pets," Lyon said. Others, she said, are strays.

One challenge Lyon sees to adoption is the strict rules of landlords in Columbia, something she has personally experienced. It can be expensive or even prohibited in the lease to have pets.

While numbers typically climb in the summer, they usually decrease throughout the school year. This cycle is not new, but the significant increase in homeless pets is. Still, Lyon is optimistic that they will find good homes.

For the past three years, the Central Missouri Humane Society has been so full it restricted animals, only accepting those from Boone County. Others are turned away.

Lyon says they have exhausted efforts to place pets in good homes or send new animals to shelters that are further away that have bigger facilities.

The recent increase in intakes of cats, dogs, and small animals have affected waiting time. Some animals have been on waiting lists since April. The pitbull mixes and older cats are typically on the list longer than other animals.

The current plan is not to expand facilities, but to expand adoption. The humane society hopes to send as many pets home as possible.