The number one reason pets are turned over to an animal shelter
FISHERMEN – The owner of Key Lime Pie donated the Pit Bull mix to the Humane Society of Hamilton County on July 22.
The reason listed on his kennel card – “undesirable”.
Undesirables are the main reason for animal abandonments at the no-kill shelter, which is at capacity.
WRTV requested data from the shelter explaining why pet owners abandon their animals.
2,849 pets have been abandoned since Jan. 1, 2020, records show.
“Unwanted” is the number one reason, which includes reasons like “I don’t have time” and “I have too many animals”.
So far this year, 307 animals have been abandoned because they were “unwanted”, compared to just 186 in 2020.
The second main reason is housing reasons, including ‘moving’, ‘landlord issues’ and ‘lost house’.
The third reason is general behavior and/or basic training needed, such as “not getting along with other pets”.
The fourth reason is financial, as pet owners no longer have the means to take care of them.
The fifth reason is the owner’s health, or the owner is deceased.
And the sixth reason is allergies.
The Humane Society of Hamilton County is hosting a special adoption event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. HSHC will ask adopters to donate any amount at the time of adoption.
HSHC President and CEO Rebecca Stevens said Thursday morning that the shelter had two cages open. Although they have several dogs and cats, dogs are the main capacity issue at the moment.
“We have to keep animals that come out the front door in order to have room for those that come in through the back door,” Stevens said. “I have faith in people and I think they’re going to help us and we need them. We can’t help other animals outside of Hamilton County if they don’t.”
Stevens says that each month, the Humane Society sees an average of 15 more owner-abandoned pets arriving each month than last year’s figures.
She described a ‘phenomenon’ of shelter animal adoption at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Now, over the past four or five months, HSHC is seeing more and more owners abandoning their animals companionship because they are unwanted.
“It’s really sad. I don’t know how to stop this. How do you get people to stick to a commitment they made?” Stevens said. “Everyone is overwhelmed by these surrenders.”
HSHC requires canine adopters to bring all family members and all dogs in the household to meet a potential rescue dog. Cat adopters must bring all human family members. It is recommended that people renting properties bring the owner’s pet policy.
All adopters are required to show government-issued identification.
Stevens says that while their selection process may seem long to some people, it’s in place to try to ensure adopters know the decision they’re making.
“I think we do our best through vigilant counseling, screening, setting expectations and trying to make sure everyone knows what they’re getting into and the consequences for the animal if they don’t. doesn’t,” she said. “I think we’re very direct and open about what it means to keep this pet forever.”
HSHC said it plans to visit Indianapolis Animal Care Services after Saturday’s event and bring animals at risk of euthanasia to HSHC in honor of Deron, who according to the authorities, was killed by the man who adopted him from IACS.