Owner surrenders. Adoption returns. Nothing gets the public’s blood boiling more than seeing those words next to an animal turned into the shelter or an adopted pet come back.
Former owners are called every name in the book, said to be uncaring, unfeeling…and I used to be one of those people. At least, I was until I became a volunteer at the Humane Society.
Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t like the idea or do I necessarily agree with some of the “lame” reasons for surrendering a pet. Especially if steps can be taken to make a situation work.
Usually problems can be resolved if the owner is willing to make the efforts. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen often as it should.
But there are worse things than an animal landing in a shelter.
What???? Am I crazy?
Well…let’s look at the alternatives. The owner moves, can’t take their pet with them. They leave the animal at the home to fend for itself or just turn it out of the street for the community to care for or again, the animal has to take care of itself.
No food, no water, and they end up searching for shelter from the weather and dodging unfriendly elements.
Is a stay in the shelter worse?
Or maybe the home situation isn’t going to work. Some owners expect way too much from their animal without bothering to train or spend time with it. Because expectations are so high and the pet cannot reach those expectations, everyone is miserable, including the animal.
Is that the world we want our fuzzy friends to live in? Miserable and frightened forever?
Or is a stay in the shelter worse?
What about those who are neglected. Thrown in the backyard or tethered. Little human interaction, little love, and living each day the same, with nothing to look forward to.
Is a stay in the shelter worse?
Then the worst of the worst. Those who live in fear because they are physically abused or forced to fight to stay alive. They never receive a kind word or any positive attention.
Really, is the shelter a worse sentence?
Think about it. While they are staying with the City of Waco, the animals live in climate controlled kennels. The areas are cleaned on a regular basis.
Animals are fed and watered daily. Medical assistance is onsite. Staff and volunteers (and they could use more volunteers) exercise and play with the dogs.
And the most important; In December, they had a 93% exit rate, which means most animals left the shelter ALIVE. These numbers are consistently improving.
Dogs and cats are finding their true forever homes or going into reputable rescues.
So, next time you feel the desire to curse an owner for surrounding their pet, just consider the following; There’s nothing sadder than an animal living in a home where they’re not wanted or one wandering the streets with no home to go to.
The City of Waco accepts them, takes care of them during their stay. HSCT handles adoptions, fosters and rescues, giving animals their shot at finding a loving home with people who want to make their pets a part of their family.
NOTE: Because the shelter is always needing space, it is encouraged to find alternative methods to re-home a pet. There are several local, reputable re-homing pages on social media outlets, it’s suggested to try those first. The shelter should be a last resort;
This weeks URGENT Dogs
UPDATE: They’ve relaxed enough to be moved on the adoption floor.
Freckles and Gidget are owner surrenders. They are not on the urgent list, but they are urgent as they are too fearful to be put onto the adoption floor. They need an adopter (not necessarily together) or foster where they can decompress and trust until they feel loved again.
Author, Debra Jupe, Content Editor, Daniela Ranzinger, Photographer, Cynthia Favreau