Agencies say the rate of pet surrenders increases.

Local rescue agencies have reported that pet owners are trying to surrender their cats and dogs at higher prices than usual.

The Olympic Peninsula Humane Society’s cat and dog facilities in Sequim and Port Angeles have been open for months, OPHS Executive Director Luann Hinkle said, and they have relied on foster families to care for the additional animals because They are waiting for spots to open up through adoption.

Bark House at 1743 Old Olympic Highway, Port Angeles, hosts 42 kennels but is caring for 99 dogs (as of press time), while Kitty City at 91 S. Boyce Road, Sequim cares for 93 cats. doing. About 30 animals are on the waiting list and more surrender requests come in daily, Hinkle said.

“We need the community to understand that we can only properly care for so many animals at a time, with the housing, staff and volunteers we have,” she said.

Welfare for Animals Guild (WAG) staff report that they are fielding around 10 calls a week asking people to surrender their dogs.

“The number of adoptions has been very low,” said a WAG staff member.

Her Halfway Home Ranch at 751 McComb Road in Sequim is also full of 24 dogs and some foster families are also taking in the dogs, according to the staff report.

Peninsula Friends of Animals at 257509 U.S. Highway 101 in Port Angeles has also experienced “a large influx of calls from the public for intake and adoption,” especially since the Humane Society raised concerns about the disease. has temporarily closed for safety reasons (more on that below), according to PFOA Shelter Director Nancy Campbell.

“This puts a lot of pressure on all of us in rescue, but we do our best to respond to this additional burden and work together to support the animals who are in care despite the difficulties,” Campbell said. needs,” Campbell said.

As a cage-free, no-kill, private 501(c)3 nonprofit, Campbell said PFOA always operates at capacity without city or county contracts or volunteers to maintain operations. Funding with support.

Additions In surrender

Rescue agency leaders say there are many reasons people try to surrender their pets.

That’s because of rising costs, Hinkle said, and access to care for residents has become prohibitive because many local animal clinics aren’t taking on new clients due to increased staff workloads.

They also saw an increase in adoptions during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, and as people return to the workplace, now-adolescent animals may develop separation anxiety that leads to “naughtiness.” Attitudes are born.

Animals surrendered to humane society can also stay longer, Hinkle said, especially large dogs, less social animals and those with medical conditions.

Bark House manager Nicole Miller said they have a few dogs waiting to be adopted starting in 2021.

Lack of spaying and neutering services during the pandemic led to more animals being born in the community, Campbell said. The PFOA had to close its monthly community spay/neuter clinic for low-income families after 25 years with Sequim Animal Hospital during the pandemic, but Campbell said he plans to get it back up and running as soon as possible. are trying

WAG staff/volunteers echoed that the biggest issue is the cost factor, saying in an email that “the economy has changed and more people have to pay for basic animal care and food. Need financial help.”

On capacity

At the Humane Society, Hinkle said some owners have become angry and belligerent with staff when they can’t accept a pet the same day because of space.

“People assume that when they’re ready to surrender, they want it right away, but we’re full and can’t take them,” he said.

“It’s really sad that people think that when they need to surrender a dog, we’re not going to help them. We’re not. We want to help each and every animal.

Hinkle said they also face misconceptions that their full potential is due to rescuing animals from high-kill shelters. However, it said that as of Oct. 31, 30% of their uses were pets surrendered by owners.

He said he has also taken in 432 stray pets in the past nine months, and his staff estimates that 60% of those intakes are due to their owners having financial problems, behavioral problems, and/or other issues. For example, rent restrictions were imposed. Pets

“They either have to get rid of the animal or relocate,” Hinkle said.

“We’re in a housing crisis and we’re in a rental crisis, and it’s even harder to find a place that rents and allows animals.”

Complicating adoption issues, Hinkle said the senior population in the Sequim area prefers smaller dogs but most of them are talked to before they make it into Bark House.

Hinkle said the partnership between animal welfare agencies and rescues has been great.

So far this year, the humane society has moved 30 animals that couldn’t find a new home at its facility to other rescues in hopes of finding a home.

He said that we all work together for the best interest of animals.

Parvovirus outbreak

One obstacle to the humane society’s adoption numbers is concerns about the contagious and deadly canine parvovirus and feline panleukopenia virus, Hinkle said, which has caused staff to close facilities and close them to the public since March.

Bark House reopened Dec. 1 after being closed to the public for a few weeks and held an adoption ceremony in Port Angeles a day later, Miller said.

During the shutdown, they have been unable to adopt animals from the shelter unless they are in a foster home and have been vetted and cleared, she said.

Parvo can live in the soil for up to a year, Hinkle said, and to help prevent its spread, staff change clothing between each kennel and spray it with a special chemical to kill the virus a few times a day. cleans up

“It’s a lot of stress and work for the staff,” he said.

WAG officials said anyone entering their facility must step into a chemical solution to prevent the spread of the virus.

Campbell said PFOA will also need to address visitors depending on community conditions.

They report that all three local agencies/groups have arrangements in place to screen, spay/neuter, and vaccinate their animals before allowing them to be adopted.

Hinkle said Humane Society leaders plan to expand the Bark House by another 550 square feet in 2024, to create more isolation and respite care.

Adoption efforts.

To encourage adoption, the Humane Society is cutting its adoption fees by 50% through December 31st. This includes spay/neuter, vaccines, parvovirus testing, worming and flea prevention, a microchip, and a health check/exam.

Staff ask tenants to obtain landlord approval and/or sign a lease agreement. Call or visit the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society at 360-457-8206 ophumanesociety.org.

PFOA also offers an emergency pet food bank to low-income pet guardians who are experiencing increased calls for pet food, staff said. For more information about Peninsula Friends of Animals, call 360-452-0414, or visit safehavenpfoa.org.

For more information on the Welfare for Animals Guild, visit wagsequimwa.com Or call 360-460-6258.

Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash Remy The dog, seen here Dec. 1 at the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society, was one of more than 40 dogs at the facility that are experiencing overcrowding issues.

Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash Remy The dog, seen here Dec. 1 at the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society, was one of more than 40 dogs at the facility that are experiencing overcrowding issues.

Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash Staff with the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society and other rescue groups say local pet owners are trying to surrender their animals at higher prices than in recent years for a variety of reasons. Including the cost of living, and banning landlord pets.Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash Staff with the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society and other rescue groups say local pet owners are trying to surrender their animals at higher prices than in recent years for a variety of reasons. Including the cost of living, and banning landlord pets.

Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash Staff with the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society and other rescue groups say local pet owners are trying to surrender their animals at higher prices than in recent years for a variety of reasons. Including the cost of living, and banning landlord pets.

Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash/ Sometime in 2024, Olympic Peninsula Humane Society staff said they plan to expand Bark House's respite care and isolation areas by about 550 square feet.Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash/ Sometime in 2024, Olympic Peninsula Humane Society staff said they plan to expand Bark House's respite care and isolation areas by about 550 square feet.

Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash/ Sometime in 2024, Olympic Peninsula Humane Society staff said they plan to expand Bark House’s respite care and isolation areas by about 550 square feet.

Sequim Gazette photo of Matthew Nash's dogs, seen here in isolation after being diagnosed with canine parvovirus, have since tested negative and are on the road to recovery, staff at the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society said. are going  This year, the facility has been closed for about three months to treat various dogs and clean the facility.Sequim Gazette photo of Matthew Nash's dogs, seen here in isolation after being diagnosed with canine parvovirus, have since tested negative and are on the road to recovery, staff at the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society said. are going  This year, the facility has been closed for about three months to treat various dogs and clean the facility.

Sequim Gazette photo of Matthew Nash’s dogs, seen here in isolation after being diagnosed with canine parvovirus, have since tested negative and are on the road to recovery, staff at the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society said. are going This year, the facility has been closed for about three months to treat various dogs and clean the facility.

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