The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Humane societies gearing up for influx of surrendered pets

Increase in pets linked to end of semester, spaying and neutering pets best thing people can do to help
There is usually more of a surge in cats during this time than dogs. Photo courtesy of Lauren Green

Humane Society of the Palouse and Whitman County Humane Society are gearing up for a surge of stray and re-homed animals, emphasizing the importance of spaying or neutering pets.

Last year, there were twice as many dogs and cats surrendered in May than there were in February, said Lauren Green, Humane Society of the Palouse public relations manager.

“Spaying and neutering your animals is the main thing you can do to help cut back on the overpopulation that we are seeing,” Green said.

Typically, more cats are being surrendered than dogs, she said. Reasons for the huge contributors to the surge the humane societies see include more cats being adopted out regularly, and kitten season approaching.

The Humane Society of the Palouse is hosting a kitten shower on May 19, which will focus on educating the public on the importance of proper animal care and will feature a variety of games and a chance to play with kittens. A five-dollar donation is appreciated to attend the kitten shower, Green said.

The public can help the humane societies by educating friends and family on proper commitment to pets and the importance of giving animals vaccines, Green said. The Humane Society makes it a priority to have an individual conversation with each adopter to let them know what it means to have a pet and the work that it takes to give each pet the care they need.

“We want all our cats and dogs to have somewhere safe to go, somewhere loving to go, and sometimes that is unfortunately not the case. The only thing we can do is to spay and neuter animals and continue to educate the public,” Green said.

Elle Barnes, Whitman County Humane Society shelter manager, said she has noticed an influx of surrendered pets during winter and summer breaks, but there is no way to tell if there is an exact correlation with the universities. There are times when students call looking to re-home their pet because they are leaving university from out of the state or country and other times there are calls from people whose roommates bailed on them and left them with their pet.

The Humane Society also gets quite a few calls from cleaning companies and apartment landlords that find animals left behind once a tenant moves out, Barnes said. For a month, there were 30 animals in the shelter, and within two weeks the number of animals jumped to around 75.

“Right now there are so many people re-homing their animals that it is almost a challenge to keep up with educating people before they make the impulse decision to get a pet,” Barnes said.

She said the Humane Society is looking for people who are willing to foster animals, to make sure there is enough room in preparation for the influx of animals. The public can help by volunteering, fostering and making donations.

“There are a lot of amazing people in the community that bring us cat and dog food when we are in a tough spot, which is very helpful,” she said.

People can make donations through the Whitman County Humane Society website or by bringing physical donations such as food, toys and blankets to their location in Pullman.

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