Humane Society provides new life to stray animals and rescues

Published 1:22 pm Wednesday, August 3, 2022

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The Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society has sent multiple four-legged friends off to rescues in the area recently, some by car and others by plane. According to shelter director Ashley White, these delivery trips are the shelter’s main way to alleviate the stress of the numerous drop-offs made. “Rescues are our lifeline,” White said. “That’s why we’re at the airport so frequently, referring to Pilots N Paws, the non-profit program of pilots that volunteer to fly animals to shelters and rescues.

The Humane Society is seemingly never without new arrivals, having picked up a trio of puppies just this Monday. “There’s no average to it,” she explained. “It may happen five times in one month, and it may happen one time the next month.” She continued, “We had one day where, within an hour apart, and it was before we were open, someone left a crate in the back with a dog in it, which is problematic for a lot of reasons, one because there are already crates there, and had the dog not made noise, it didn’t really stand out. Then we had someone leave a crate with a mom and kittens at the front door.”

According to White, this year alone the shelter has taken in 456 animals, 58 of which were pets relinquished by their owners, the remainder being strays. “Last year, we had over 1,300. Only 232 were owner surrenders, the rest were from stray animals roaming around, drop-offs, that type of thing,” she said. This year, the shelter has successfully adopted 58 animals. “Thirty got reclaimed, 26 were TNR (trap neuter release) cats, 210 went to rescue. Last year, 167 were adopted, 65 were reclaimed, two were TNR, because we had just started it in December, and 697 out of the over 1,300 went out to rescues.”

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For anyone wishing to drop off an animal, she said, “If someone has an animal that is their personal pet that they need to turn in, please just give us a call, and we will assist them the entire way, the entire process of turning that animal in, and make sure that proper steps are followed so that the best outcome can happen for that animal.” One thing the Humane Society requests for pet drop-offs is the animal’s medical history, particularly in regard to communicable diseases like parvo, as well as potential allergies or behavioral problems (do they get along with other animals, children, etc.). The necessary paperwork is available online, though White said that they are willing to work with members of the community that may not have internet access. White also wanted to remind the public of the Society’s ongoing trap neuter release program, which is aimed at curbing the stray cat population. “If there is a cat that is hanging around someone’s neighborhood that they want to get fixed, or even if it’s a colony or they know where one is… all they have to do is give us a call, and we’ll let them know a day when they can trap the cat and bring it in, and we’ll get it fixed and release it.”