Tuesday, July 28, 2009

SPCA Metro Shelter Desperate for Adopters

The below article talks about how the Metro Dartmouth SPCA is desperate for people to come and adopt dogs and cats from the shelter, that they have over 200 cats and cats and 53 dogs looking for homes - so I went to their Petfinder site to see what was available - and guess what - they only have 16 dogs up as available for adoption.

I have Janet Young from Reigning Dogs and Cats inside my head about how she's always going on about shelters not using Petfinder - and here we are again with a shelter not using that website - such a shame - because Petfinder does really work - it really is the first place most people look when they're looking to rescue a dog. They see something they like, then they go meet him or her in person. I really wish people in the sheltering community would believe people in the rescue community about that. Anyway, here's the article - at least they're lowering the prices on cats for awhile -

SPCA Metro Shelter Desperate for Adopters

Today the Nova Scotia SPCA Metro Shelter is issuing a community plea for support and assistance as it deals with an overwhelming number of animals - especially cats and kittens.

The Metro Shelter currently has over 200 animals in their care - 146 cats and kittens, 53 dogs and 1 rabbit. In the spring and summer season the Metro Shelter SPCA normally sees its numbers creep up as a result of "kitten season" - where unwanted litters of kittens are dropped off or brought in by members of the public.

This year is even worse, with the shelter at 5 Scarfe Court in the Burnside Industrial Park bursting at the seams with unwanted kittens from newborn age to those who are ready for adoption. Additionally, there are a very large number of adult cats in the building. To try and combat the inactivity on the adoption front, the Metro Shelter has discounted its adoption fees for all adult cats who have been at the shelter for three weeks or longer, hoping that it may entice people to adopt.

"The numbers of animals that we are seeing this year is incredibly high, with dozens of phone calls coming in each day at the shelter with people looking to bring in both owned and stray animals and unfortunately we can't even come close to meeting the demand," says Shelter Director Sandra Flemming. The Metro Shelter is also concerned with disease control and the stress that a full shelter has on the animals in their care. "With this many animals, it becomes more difficult to care for them and disease outbreaks become more common, which is what we are seeing now."

What is making this situation even worse is that it is also the slowest time of year for adoptions which means that animals aren't getting adopted quickly, keeping the shelter full to capacity. "It's like the perfect storm, you have your highest period of need during the summer months, but your lowest period of support from the public because people are thinking about taking vacation and they have their kids home and adopting a new pet isn't a priority," says Flemming.

What has also added to the shelter's burden is the number of animals that have recently been seized due to cruelty investigations. As the main facility housing cruelty seizures for the entire province of Nova Scotia, the Port Felix seizure of approximately 60 cats and 24 dogs placed even more stress on the shelter's resources and staff over the last month. "With all the media interest in this case, we were able to adopt out the 24 dogs fairly quickly, but what was concerning for us is that no one from the public expressed any interest in adopting the cats," says Flemming.

As cruelty investigations continue, the shelter has taken in another 17 dogs and at least another dozen cats and kittens in the past 10 days alone. "Since we don't euthanize for kennel space or for length of time an animal spends at the shelter, we can only accept new animals in the building as other animals are adopted and a kennel is freed up. We are proud of the fact that we only euthanize in situations where an animal is too aggressive to be adopted or we are medically unable to treat the animal but this means that it limits how many animals we can help," says Flemming.

The Metro Shelter would also like more understanding from the public in regards to their mandate. "Dozens of phone calls come in each week from people looking to surrender their owned pets, and when we say we can't take them, they get angry and abusive with shelter staff," says Flemming. The Metro Shelter would like people to understand that their first priority is to help abandoned, abused, injured and stray animals and right now, that is all they are able to accept. "If someone is no longer able to care for their own pet, they need to be responsible and find another home for it themselves, instead of looking to us to solve their problem. As a non-profit organization with limited resources and kennel space, the shelter cannot possibly do it all."

The shelter would also like to make the public more aware of the perils of adopting an animal through websites like Kijiji. Every animal adopted from the Metro Shelter is spayed or neutered, dewormed, microchipped, flea treated and have received their first vaccines upon adoption, and adopters are given a free vet initial vet visit. All of these services come at a fraction of the cost that someone would have to pay if they had to take their new pet to a vet themselves. "The risk to someone who adopts a pet from our shelter is minimal in comparison to someone who adopts from an unknown source, like Kijiji," says Flemming. "People don't realize that they then have to spend $300-$400 dollars to get the same services as an animal that is adopted from our shelter."

For now, the Metro Shelter will continue to take in and help as many animals as their building will allow, but they really would like to see the public come forward and help, either through adopting a pet or through financial assistance to help pay for their care. "We really need the public to come in and support us right now. If someone has been considering adopting an animal for awhile and they feel like they have the time to commit to a new pet, we would really encourage them to come in to the shelter and see the animals that we have up for adoption."

1 comment:

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