Jul 3 2010

If You Have to Surrender a Pet…

Cody was surrendered to Wayside in May

Cody was surrendered to Wayside in May

Wayside Waifs is an amazing place. If you are reading this, I am sure you have seen our new, amazing dog adoption area. You know how much work we put in to taking care of and finding homes for the animals who come through our doors. You have met the amazing staff and dedicated volunteers who come in day in and day out to help care for and socialize the 300+ animals who currently call Wayside home. You know the good things we do. So, it may come as a surprise to hear me say the absolute best place for your companion animals is in a home. 

No matter how amazing we become, Wayside Waifs is a scary and stressful place for the animals. It is new and unusual and full of strange smells and sights and sounds the animals are not used to. Yes, most animals take to Wayside very quickly and have no problem while they are here. I am certain all of these animals would much rather be in a loving home. Bringing an animal to Wayside Waifs should be the last step in trying to find your companion a home. 

People often wonder why Wayside has so many big dogs and so few puppies or small dogs. The reason is simple—we have a much easier time finding homes for puppies and small dogs. Just like every one of you knows someone (or knows someone who knows someone) who would take in a Chihuahua or wants a puppy, many of you would have a harder time finding someone who would take in a three-year-old, 85 pound lab mix. It’s the same with us. The small dogs and puppies fly out of the shelter. The super friendly, loving, happy, playful labs and shepherds and mutts tend to spend more time with us.  

What can you do to help? Encourage everyone you know to adopt and not buy animals from Pet Stores or from a breeder. We always have “pure-breed” dogs and cats in the shelter. Visit our adoptions page and count how many “pure-breed” and “designer” dogs and cats we have available for adoption. We also will often see small mammals, rabbits, reptiles, birds and the like. 

Encourage everyone you know to spay and neuter their companions. We see “accidental” litters every day. A couple of great organizations to contact for help are Spay/Neuter Kansas City (http://snkc.net/) and No More Homeless Pets Kansas City (http://www.nmhpkc.org/).

If you have to find a new home for your companion animal, utilize free services like Petfinder (www.petfinder.com) or Craigslist (www.craigslist.com) before surrendering to Wayside. It will take a little more work on your part, but you will get to hand-pick the new family for your companion and Wayside will be able to better help the animals who have no other place to go. 

What should you do with an animal you find? If you can’t take care of the animal while looking for the human companion, utilize your local animal control. This is where the human will look for the lost animal. We do not have the ability to take in found animals without an appointment as we are limited on space and don’t euthanize the animals in our care to make room for new animals. If you want to hold on to the found animal while looking for the human who lost him/her, we will gladly set you up an appointment to utilize if you can’t find them or can’t find a new home for the animal. (If you have animals, get them micro-chipped so they can be reunited with you more quickly. If they have a microchip, please update the information to make sure they have your current phone number and address.) 

We want to be able to help as many animals as possible, but we also want to be able to help the people and the animals who need the most help. There are times when someone will not have the ability to find their companion a new home. In these cases, we would love to be able to always bring them in immediately, but sometimes we can not. We don’t like to say no to anyone, but there are times when it is necessary. You love the animals in your home and want to do what is best for them. We have over 300 animals in our “home” who we love and we have to do what is best for them. Sometimes, this means we have to so no. It’s nothing personal. If everyone did their part to help increase adoptions and to lower the number of animals in our community who need help, we will be able to really help the animals and the people who need it the most.

 

Written by Joe Hinkle
Manager of Behavior & Admissions at Wayside Waifs


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