SAS reaches capacity, discounts adoptions

Whitney Bashaw | The Daily Star Becca Daly, communications director for the Susquehanna Animal Shelter, gets a smooch from a new arrival.

Susquehanna Animal Shelter experienced an influx of dogs coming to the shelter this month, communications director Becca Daly said.

The shelter, which has 32 kennels, had to create a wait list for dogs for the first time. Daly said seven dogs had come in as police seizures from criminal situations where the dogs were being abused. SAS is offering a 20 percent discount on dog adoptions to make room.

Daly said that during the winter, more animals are brought by police because of neglect or animals are found left outside in the cold and people are more likely to call about it.

Susquehanna Animal Shelter and Delaware Valley Humane Society are no-kill shelters. Heart of the Catskills Humane Society in Delhi does euthanize, operations director Deb Crute said, but only in extreme cases. The shelter does not euthanize for space or because of age.

Shelters said that on average, dogs leave the shelter after a few months. Crute said that the adoption rate for dogs in Delhi is high, as much as 95 percent, but there are dogs that have been at the shelter for more than a year. Some dogs, such as puppies, labs, retrievers and small dogs find new homes much faster than breeds that are perceived as violent. 

“Unfortunately, pit bulls end up staying longer because people have really negative ideas about them,” Crute said.

Daly said that the pit bull mixes at SAS are all very friendly, but some have been there for more than two years.

Dogs that pose a challenge for adoption often have behavioral issues that limit the kinds of homes that they can be in, such as ones with cats, other dogs or small children.

Shelters share the burden when they can, transferring or taking dogs to keep kennels available. Erin Insinga, shelter manager at Delaware Valley Humane Society in Sidney, said her shelter has a relationship with the Norwich SPCA shelter and a shelter in Alabama. Insinga said the shelter tries to help locally first, but will help wherever it is needed.

“Dogs start having signs of depression. People have no idea how hard it is for animals to live here,” Insinga said. “It’s a stressful situation for dogs. A lot of them have come from families and homes.”

All of the shelters interviewed by The Daily Star said that social media is a boon for increasing adoption rates and for connecting strays to their owners. The shelters also use internet resources such as Petfinder and Petango to increase the chance of adoptions.

“We are all trying our best,” Crute said. “We are trying to find homes for as many as we can.”

Whitney Bashaw, staff writer, can be reached at wbashaw@thedailystar.com or 441-7218. Follow her at @DS_WhitneyB on Twitter. 

 

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