Local Animal Shelters are in Trouble. There’s Not Enough Room
We at Townsquare Media have been working with the Humane Society of West Michigan for many years featuring on our radio programs adoptable pets, dogs, cats, small animals, in hopes they will find, as they like to say, their "furever" home. We have had a lot of success as over 92% of the pets we have featured have found a loving home.
However, that is only one pet at a time, and West Michigan’s largest animal shelters are still seeing large numbers of animals coming in, but sadly not enough are going out, as in being adopted.
Fox17 was reporting the HSWM along with Harbor Humane Society and the Kent County Animal Shelter, the largest shelters in West Michigan, are struggling to keep up as more and more animals are staying longer and longer.
So, what gives? More people are giving up their pets, more strays are being picked up.and adoptions are down. It's not just West Michigan, it is a nationwide problem.
The Kent County Animal Shelter has taken in 140% more stray dogs than ever before. There has been a 22% increase in the number of strays at Harbor Humane. I didn't get a number from the Humane Society of West Michigan, but you know it has to be as high.
And, one of the sad notes about all of this is that there has been at least an 18% increase in owner surrender. So many pets were adopted during the pandemic, but now many owners are rethinking their adoption and giving up on their pet. Maybe they find they can't afford to feed and keep up with vaccinations.
There is help for that and pet owners shouldn't be afraid to ask for it from the Humane society of West Michigan. They have a pet food pantry, low cost vaccinations, and micro chip clinics just waiting for them.
Don't get me wrong. The Shelters are used to housing hundreds of animals, but with numbers like these, it's very difficult for them to keep up, feed, house, etc.
Not only do all of the shelters look for adoption as a win-win, pet and new owner, but they try to reunite lost animals with their owners. People forget that if they have lost a pet, they should look to their local shelters and post to Facebook. Kent County pet owners may post their pets’ disappearance to Petco Love Lost. Ottawa County pet owners are encouraged to post to Ottawa County Lost and Found.
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