Humane Society officials say their refuge is at full capacity as animals continue to be abandoned
HIGH EARTH, Ind. (WTWO / WAWV) – In three days, two dogs have been abandoned at Terre Haute Society as officials say they are already at full capacity.
Management believes that most of the animals left behind are those with pre-existing owners and not stray animals. Unless the shelter cannot enlist the help of foster homes or volunteers, more animals may be refused.
“In the eight years that I’ve volunteered at the shelter, I can’t remember it ever having been as crowded as it is today,” said Carla Artist, a volunteer.
While the increase in supplies continues and there is no longer a kennel room, the animals of the Société Terre Haute Humane remain in the examination and surgery rooms. In some cases, even offices.
Executive Director Sarah Valentine describes the situation as stressful.
“We want these animals to get the attention they need and they can’t get that attention, or the proper attention that they need to socialize when there are so many of them,” said Valentine.
Currently, around 200 cats and dogs are at the shelter. This number does not include animals already placed.
Valentine adds that the reasons for the increase include a lack of spaying and neutering and people are abandoning their pets, despite staff’s efforts to tell people there is no room.
“If you are that kind citizen and you choose an animal that is by the side of the road, as soon as you pick it up, that animal becomes your responsibility,” said Valentine. “Don’t be rude if you bring it here and we don’t have space available.” Welcome him, call us, and when there is room, we will take this animal ”,
THHS will assist anyone taking care of an animal through the services provided, including providing food.
In Indiana, abandoning an animal can result in a misdemeanor.
Artis says it has been stressful trying to take care of every animal in the shelter.
“We want to give so much love and care to animals. When there are too many of them, we just feel like we are not able to provide the kind of love and care these animals need to thrive to be good pets for people ” , said Artis,
Valentine adds that if the Society were to bring more animals, it might mean keeping rescues outside, placing cats in kennels or dogs in wire crates.
“None of this is what we want to do. But, when we say the capacity is zero; we really mean it, ”she said.
Staff encourage anyone who finds a dog to check their collar to see if an owner can be identified, or if you have a dog, have them microchipped.
On June 25, the refuge reopened for the first time since the start of the pandemic, click on this link to learn more about adoption or volunteering.