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Economy hinders animals finding a home

    TRI-COUNTY AREA—The humane societies work to help cats and dogs find homes with area families. However, that is becoming harder to do for various reasons.
    “The difficult part is the economy,” said Mary Schleiermacher, vice president of the Yates County Humane Society. “It’s harder for homes with pets. We’ve gotten a lot of surrenders because households can’t afford to care or buy food for their pets.”
    Schleiermacher explained the shelter currently has about 12 dogs, 17 adult cats, and 25 kittens. She added the numbers change on a daily basis. However, one constant is the capacity. Schleiermacher said the humane society has a full house when it comes to cats, and even a waiting list of people who want to surrender their pet. She explained the state mandates how many animals they can have in the shelter and there are openings when an animal is adopted.
    However, she added that when it comes to cats they are always near full capacity. The humane society is also partnered with the animal control officer to house dogs in a barn renovated with kennels. Schleiermacher said this means they are usually filled with dogs as well because of the animals the officer brings to house.
    “What happens is so many people don’t spay or neuter their pets,” said Schleiermacher. This results in lots of kittens in the spring and in the fall. She said “we gets kittens after kittens after kittens,” adding the this results in the shelter having anywhere between 20 and 30 kittens. She added that earlier in the year the humane society offered two cats for the price of one to encourage adoptions.
    Schleiermacher explained the shelter separates kittens from adult, spayed and neutered cats, and by gender to prevent reproduction. She added that volunteers walk and care for the dogs. Overall, she said the shelter provides what the animals need. However, the society doesn’t want to have the animals here.
    “We don’t like having them in the care of the shelter,” said Schleiermacher, adding people to adopt the pets is the goal.
    The Humane Society of Schuyler County held an “Adoptathon” at Wal-Mart in Watkins Glen last Saturday. Volunteers had adoptable cats and dogs available for people to meet and pet. Gita Devi, Schuyler humane society board member, said they currently have 25 animals. She explained pet food company Purina approached the humane society about doing the adoption event.
    “The timing couldn’t be better,” said Devi.
    One issue the society is facing is continued number of homeless and abandoned dogs. Georgie Taylor, Schuyler humane society director, explained that the humane society usually finds more stray dogs in the winter. She said that people who have been harboring dogs outside decide they don’t want the responsibility of taking care of the animals during the cold months.
    “We keep getting dogs all the time,” said Devi, but added the number of dogs being adopted is steady.
    Devi explained the humane society has tried new ways to find pet owners using their website and Facebook. She said in one case the shelter found an abandoned St. Bernard, but by posting about it online the owner contacted the shelter later that day to claim their dog.
    Gita said the society will have more room when the new animal shelter is completed in Montour Falls. Once the warehouse is converted, the kennel area will be able to hold up to 24 dogs. It will also be society’s first true cat shelter in Schuyler, being able to house up to 34 cats.




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