TRUTH: Animal Humane Society is here for every animal. Every animal. We don’t turn away animals because we lack space, or because they’re aggressive or fearful, chronically ill or too old, the wrong color or un-housetrained. While other limited-admission shelters and rescues choose to routinely turn away owners who no longer want their pets, we accept them all no matter the circumstances. We understand that denying an animal shelter at our facilities does not always mean it will be taken home or to another safe place.
As a result of our open-admission policy, we receive a disproportionately high percentage of animals that are not immediately adoptable. They need extra help. That’s why we developed a number of approaches to increase their chances of being placed in a home—for example, our training staff and volunteers work with animals that have behavioral issues from a simple case of poor manners to more extensive issues like shy/fearfulness and our foster volunteers help care for animals with medical conditions that need to be treated or managed before adoption.
Despite our best efforts, the unfortunate truth is that some animals cannot be adopted due to untreatable behavior and medical issues that can’t be overcome. We look for alternative options for these animals but we’re not always able to place them with other rescues or sanctuaries because those organizations are also overwhelmed with the number of animals in their care. When no other option remains, it becomes our burden to conclude their lives in a responsible and humane way.
A note on families who surrender their animals
A common assumption is that people who surrender their animals don’t care about them. In fact, they care enough not to abandon them. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study & Policy, an owner takes 90–120 days to come to the decision to surrender their animal to a shelter or rescue. Surrendering is often heartbreaking for the family, but the only option they have after exhausting all other possibilities.