Animal shelter

Niagara animal shelter struggles with capacity as summer adoptions slow – Hamilton

The executive director of a Niagara-area animal shelter says lower COVID restrictions are likely to blame for the slowdown in pet adoptions this summer following a boom in pickups during the pandemic .

Kevin Strooband, executive director of the Lincoln County Humane Society, believes the outlet is seeing fewer potential pet owners due to residents having more freedom of movement amid lighter restrictions this summer compared to last two years.

“I think what’s really going on here…people are going out, they’re having fun,” Strooband told 900 CHML. Hello Hamilton.

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“They focus on different things and they don’t adopt, which increases the number of pets in our shelter.”

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In a social media post this week, Humane Canada CEO Barbara Cartwright suggested a “perfect storm” is brewing in every municipality across Canada due to a lack of resources such as medical support, food and host families, combined with a tendency for landlords to no longer care. for animals.

Shelter operations manager at Toronto Animal Services, Sue Shearstone, reported a 60% increase in the number of animals visiting shelters last week compared to the same period in 2021.

“We have people (who) got pets during the pandemic and are unable to care for them,” Shearstone told Global News.

“Maybe they had to go back to work or maybe they have a dog whose breed they haven’t researched and who doesn’t understand the requirements of that individual dog. So we see a lot of larger dogs, two to four years old, not very well behaved, maybe (with) anxiety.

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Strooband says that in his locality there are divestitures going on, but bigger issues surround the lack of pet owners and staff willing to administer general animal care.

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“It’s a huge problem. We also have an on-site vet clinic, as does the SPCA in Hamilton, and we’re having a really hard time recruiting vets, licensed vet techs, and front-line staff,” Strooband said.

Humane Canada’s Cartwright also reported a change in the types of animals entering shelters, revealing an increase in the number of pets with behavioral and medical issues requiring more resources to make them adoptable.

It’s a scenario the Lincoln shelter is also seeing, with owners having to leave an animal due to the recent drop in household incomes.

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“We had a little French bulldog, the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, and he had a prolapsed rectum,” Strooband recalled.

“So it took intense surgery to correct that, and it was done…but the owners couldn’t afford it.”

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Niagara Region residents who can afford to adopt a pet can contact the Lincoln County Humane Society or, in Hamilton, the local SPCA.

Strooband says prospective pet owners should be prepared for tough lifestyle questions from shelter staff in light of the recent rise in pet abandonment.

“There are people who are going to get upset about this, but for the most part…respect what we say,” Strooband remarked.

“They understand, we are the experts. We’ve been doing this for a long time. So we try to make it a good game.

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