BOISE, Idaho —
This story originally appeared in the Idaho Press.
During Memorial Day weekend, the Idaho Humane Society was at full capacity, with no more space for incoming animals on the adoption floor.
After a big adoption day on Wednesday, a few more spaces were opened up. But the shelter is still close to capacity and looking to find homes for many of its four-legged friends. Especially the ones that have been there a while.
“We're just trying to get a bunch of dogs adopted quickly,” Idaho Humane Society Digital Media Assistant Laurien Mavey said. “That way we can help out other shelters.”
The Humane Society has transfer programs set up with other shelters in Idaho. If it has room, it will also help out shelters in places like Texas and Louisiana, as previously reported by the Idaho Press.
Kristine Schellhaas, the Humane Society’s public relations and digital media manager, said that while the shelter receives owner-surrendered pets year-round, it primarily sees an uptick in May through August.
“People tend to relocate in the summer, and with the current housing crisis here in the Treasure Valley, renters have been having more difficulties finding affordable, pet-friendly housing,” Schellhaas said in an email.
Around July, the Humane Society also sees an uptick in strays from dogs getting scared of fireworks that go off around Independence Day.
Mavey said most of the time, the dogs at the shelter will be adopted within about 24-48 hours. For cats, it’s usually about 72 hours. According to Schellhaas, last year the Humane Society adopted out an average of 122 pets a week.
On the adoption floor, the shelter has 42 dog kennels, but it can host multiple dogs in the kennels at a time depending on size and if the dogs came from the same household or are puppies of the same litter.
The in-take center has 136 kennels.
“These consistent adoption numbers are so important to our mission, each adoption means that we can help another pet in need,” Schellhaas said.
But there are some “long-termers.”
Usually the long-termers are bigger or older dogs and have certain restrictions a family has to meet, like not having any other animals at their house or being a kid-free home, Mavey said. But occasionally, there will be an animal that has no restrictions and the shelter employees can’t put a finger on why it’s not getting adopted.
Four-year-old Jazz is a boxer mix that had been at the Humane Society for about a month. She likes being home alone and weighs just over 50 pounds. Jazz was transferred to the Humane Society from Louisiana.
"She's so sweet. I've highlighted her like a couple times. We don't understand. Like just the right person hasn't come in, I guess,” Mavey said.
The “highlights” that Mavey does are videos of certain animals, often long-termers, that she posts on the Humane Society's social media accounts.
“If it knows any tricks, we'll make sure we have them do the tricks on the video. Or if they really like being cuddled, we'll have someone squat down with them and just pet them a bunch and love on them to show that they are cuddly,” Mavey said.
According to Mavey, there are multiple times the highlight videos have helped animals get adopted.
There are a handful of other long-termers currently at the shelter, albeit no dogs have been there as long as Jazz had. Here are some of the animals and their characteristics, according to the Humane Society:
Roper is a 12-year-old Australian cattle dog, border collie mix and a little shy. He’s been at the shelter for about a week. He ended up there because his owner passed away.
Marley is a mix of a retriever, Labrador and Catahoula leopard dog. He has so much energy, if it weren’t for his white face, you wouldn’t know he was 10. His owner was hospitalized, so Marley was surrendered to the Humane Society.
White Socks and Barney, two cats whose owner went to a rest home, have been there about the same amount of time as Jazz. Barney weighs around 27 pounds, which is “morbidly obese” for a cat, so the Humane Society employees have been trying to help him lose weight. Mavey said owners should avoid purposely making their pets obese because it can lead to serious health problems. The two cats are a bonded pair, so they have to be adopted together. Mavey said this has led to their longer stay at the shelter.
For Mavey, almost nothing beats the excitement of when a long-termer gets a home.
“We're just also excited because usually it's a big team effort trying to really promote them and highlight them and show how much love they have to give and how much of a good dog they are, even if they might have some restrictions,” she said. “So it's pretty awesome. We're all really excited when that happens.”
After the Idaho Press left the Humane Society on Friday, it received word that Jazz had finally found a home.
Those looking to adopt can get more information on the process at the Idaho Humane Society’s website. The adoption center is located at 1300 S Bird St. in Boise.
How to adopt
Information can be found at the Idaho Humane Society’s website. The adoption center is located at 1300 S. Bird St. in Boise and its phone number is (208)342-3508.
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