Archive for Monday, August 3, 2009

Desperately crowded Humane Society offering half-price adoptions this month

The Lawrence Humane Society animal shelter is nearing capacity because of slower-than-usual adoption rates.

August 3, 2009


On the street

Have you ever adopted an animal?

Yes, a cat. … I gave her some food, she came back and then she never left.

More responses

The Lawrence Humane Society received another 42 dogs on Saturday from the state, and now the shelter is desperately crowded.

That’s why it’s cutting adoption fees in half for August.

“We needed to do something drastic because we all know what the end result is if we don’t get them out of here,” said Humane Society executive director Midge Grinstead.

Regular adoption fees are $110 for dogs and $95 for cats. This month, pets can be adopted from $40 to $60.

“With the economy being a little tough, we are not adopting out as many animals as we normally would,” Grinstead said.

The economy, coupled with summer being the major breeding season, is a big reason why the shelter is also seeing more animals coming in.

“It’s not, ‘Hi, I’m moving and I have 12 cats I need to give you,’” Grinstead said. “It’s ‘I’ve lost everything and now I’m giving up my buddy.’”

The shelter is using crates and collapsible kennels for its newest influx of dogs, most of which are small.

“The crates are the correct size for them, but we don’t like using them,” Grinstead said. “We need them to feel comfortable and get exercise.”

Grinstead said almost everyone on her staff who could foster a dog was doing so, and the crowding is causing stress.

“I do not want to euthanize for space reasons. We haven’t done that since 2000,” Grinstead said. “We’re about that close to having to do that.”

The Lawrence Humane Society, 1805 E. 19th St., is open Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.


my_viewpoint 8 years, 10 months ago

I'm at 19th and Haskell and am offering the Humane Society my floor space (2000 sq. ft) for temporary relief. I will need $$ help with the crates needed.

50YearResident 8 years, 10 months ago

Overcrowding because of accepting 42 dogs from the state? Why weren't they turned down like the other shelters do? How hard is it to say, "Sorry, we are full, send them to another location"?

meggers 8 years, 10 months ago

50YearResident: Since you seem to be the expert, what, pray tell, is the state supposed to do with the 42 dogs if every shelter refuses to take them?

I applaud the LHS for their commitment to rescuing animals in need and doing everything in their power to give them a chance at life. I'd like to think that such empathy and generosity of spirit are a reflection of the Lawrence community. But then I read your post.

Oh well, keep up the good work, LHS.

somedude20 8 years, 10 months ago

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kmat 8 years, 10 months ago

Not funny, somedude!

50yearres - the Lawrence Shelter is the main shelter for KS that takes in dogs the state rescues from puppy mills and other emergencies. They are the best shelter in the state equipped to help.

Please, please do anything you can to help them out. If you have room and the heart, they need people that are willing to foster a dog. I'm probably going to foster one for a while.

They also desperately need supplies and cash. They need bedding for these critters. If you have extra or old blankets, sheets or towels, you can drop them off at the shelter or in a collection bin outside of Petco.

Have a heart people!!!! Help our the shelter. We are very lucky to have Midge and this wonderful shelter. Most communities would love to have such a great facility in their community.

Boston_Corbett 8 years, 10 months ago

Didn't Wichita just open a new 8 Million dollar animal shelter? Holy cow. With such a facility, how can Lawrence be the only overload place where the state wants to put animals?

I also understand Topeka is converting a Dillons grocery store to replace their animal shelter. They have raised a couple of million dollars for this. This would have to be a lot more space than Lawrence also.

I do love our shelter and the people. I just don't think it should always be carrying the load for the rest of the state.

Frightwig 8 years, 10 months ago

Anybody who is waiting for them to be given away for free is unfit to adopt a pet. If "free" is the only condition under which you will adopt, how willing will you be to pay vet bills when the animal gets sick? How willing will you be to buy food, a leash or toys for the pet? Adopting a pet is often a 10+ year commitment that requires a lot of love, time and interaction. Keep that in mind.

aholtw2 8 years, 10 months ago

To the person who implied that only "unfit" people would wait for a free pet, Are you saying that you'd rather an animal be put to death than have a home? Would you rather a pet be locked in a kennel day after day, because someone someone didn't want to pay $100 for it? I'm Sorry, but there are plenty of people that could afford to buy an animal for $1000 and can be considered "unfit".
I bet the shelter could find lots of good homes for animals by having an open house or Free weekend. The money saved on adoption could go towards the vet or food. and No, you don't need to buy toys for animals. You can get Free toys at garage sales or ordinary items from around the house. Cats love empty boxes! You don't need money to Love an animal.

Danielle Brunin 8 years, 10 months ago

Fit or unfit is irrelevant. The cost is important because it makes people consider the financial responsibility of a pet. The application process and fees help ensure that people don't adopt these animals on a whim and end up bringing them back to the shelter. Please also consider that while the adoption fee could go towards the pet's food and living expenses, the money that is returned to the shelter helps ensure that many, many animals are allowed to live there until they find a home. Surely you support a fee if it means that more animals don't have to be euthanized?

cowboy 8 years, 10 months ago

Cost is only important to support the re-homing industry. They should open the doors and get these pets into homes. I find it ridiculous that an adopted pet costs a hundred bucks. Pets are people too , this is slave trading ! Ok a little over the top , just get em in homes.

George_Braziller 8 years, 10 months ago

I'd adopt another cat in a minute but I'm not ready yet. I had to put down my two "kids" within ten months of each other. One was 15 and had an inoperable tumor which was causing him extreme pain. The other one was 12 and was in the final stages of renal failure. They were both strays who adopted me. Still miss those two little pooks.

Isaias Shannon 8 years, 10 months ago

I agree with what is posted above regarding being willing/able to pay an adoption fee. Adoption fees make sense and protect the welfare of adoptable animals for a variety of reasons. However, I do agree that it is getting tiresome to see the same pleas over and over and over from the LHS! Seems that they are in never ending "desperate need" of something. It does make one wonder about the quality of the leadership and professionalism of the organization. Compassion is not in question, common sense is.

That said, I also want to point out that I have a number of stray cats that populate my property and the houses surrounding mine. One cat has given birth to 7 feral kittens in less than one year and is pregnant again! LHS tells me to call Animal Control. AC comes out, only to chase the cats out of my lawn and into my neighbors and then tell me they cannot collect the cats unless my neighbor requests it as they are no longer on my property. What?!?! So much for a concerned citizen trying to help the pet overpopulation!

meggers 8 years, 10 months ago

I believe another rationale for charging for pets is to try to weed out the scum who just want to pick up animals for fighting or other forms of mistreatment. Giving animals away for free often has some unintended consequences that I doubt most people would approve of.

Danielle Brunin 8 years, 10 months ago

Think Cem Basoflas who was posting on craigslist so he could get free animals to torture. If I'm not mistaken, the kitty that he tortured is still at the shelter. Snickerdoodle, I think? Please don't quote me!

Since LHS is non-profit and unwanted or stray pets are a never-ending problem, I imagine that they will probably be in desperate need of supplies forevermore. As for the feral cat problem, there is a program where you can trap the cats, have them spayed or neutered, and then released. It's in Kansas City, I believe. That is, if you're up to trapping what will be a very angry feral cat and a few of its closest friends. ;)

George_Braziller 8 years, 10 months ago

Violet - The reason the Lawrence Humane Society always has a deperate need is becuase the actually HAVE a constant desperate need. It doesn't have anything to do with the management of the organization. It's pet owners who don't spay or neuter their pets or who view them as disposable objects.

The Humane Society just gets saddled with the problem.

Danielle Brunin 8 years, 10 months ago

It's also important to note that not all of the animals cost $100. If they were already spayed or neutered, they cost considerably less like $40 or so. Many of these animals are older and were given up by people who couldn't take care of them anymore so they make wonderful pets because they're past the puppy-chewing stage or the kitten that misses the litter box stage. Just another option for someone who doesn't want to pay $100. I'm biased though. I got my kitty from there and her foster mother was wonderful with her. The staff were fantastic too!

Isaias Shannon 8 years, 10 months ago

I have tried on 2 occasions to trap the cats using humane, live animal traps and they are too smart to go for it! As for the LHS, I stand my ground - there are MANY non-profits who work with never-ending social problems who do much better at running their organizations and keeping things together. I really think they need an overhaul.

Danielle Brunin 8 years, 10 months ago

Violet- I know what you mean about the feral cats. When I was five, my grandparents, knowing that I really wanted a cat, trapped a feral cat for me. I think they thought that I would be able to socialize and charm it into an acceptable pet with my five-year old devotion and love. They opened the cage door and it managed to get out the front door and ran north, literally for the hills (we lived in the middle of nowhere) and we never saw it again.

MeAndFannieLou 8 years, 10 months ago

There is a real problem in this area with dog fighting. Giving away small animals for free often attracts people who keep dogs for fighting. They throw the small animal to the dogs to tear to pieces because it keeps them (the fighting dogs) mean and ready to fight. That's why the shelter will not waive their adoption fee altogether.

That said, I agree that people need to know that pets are not cheap and to be prepared for the financial obligation implied when they adopt a pet.

thelonious 8 years, 10 months ago

George_Braziller, my condolences on the loss of your cats, and I feel your pain. My wife and I had to euthanize our wonderful almost 10 year old St. Bernard a few weeks ago after an 18 month battle with cancer. We had her since she was a pup, and she had good quality of life and was pain-free right up until the last couple of days, so she had a good life but it is still painful to lose a companion animal who was so sweet. They really do give us so much.

So I am not emotionally ready for another dog yet, but since my wife and I also have a cat (adopted from LHS), we decided to get a second cat to keep our her company when we are not home. Went out to LHS last Saturday and picked out a 1 year old cat who came in as a stray in April, and she and our cat have already bonded. We spent over an hour there trying to find a cat that felt like it would be compatible with us and our existing cat, and so far so good.

The staff and volunteers at LHS were wonderful, and Midge does a great job running the shelter on a shoestring. The community does a pretty good job supporting LHS, but the need is so great. The most important thing people can and should do is to spay or neuter their pets. Please.

BTW, the adoption fee is there to support the operations of the shelter - housing, feeding, and caring for these animals costs money. Also, in my opinion, $50 or so to adopt a pet is very modest comapared to what the pet will cost over the course of its life in food, vet care, etc.

So we're now on our third adopted cat (one deceased), and they have all been sweet. Our experience is that they appreciate getting a home SO MUCH! If you are thinking about getting a pet, please visit the shelter, and better yet, do it in August while the normal fee is being waived - you'll save money, you'll help LHS, and most importantly, you will help an animal that wants and needs a home.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 years, 10 months ago

I used to be the world's most notable cat-hater years ago. Then my then-wife brought home Tiger, a white and grey kitty. Pretty soon, I got on good terms with Tiger. Then one son brought home a yellow cat and another son brought home a black cat. We had three of them!!! Well, divorce came along and I let her have the three cats, and really missed the little fellows. Sorrowfully, we had to have Tiger put down recently, he was over 15 years old and old age just caught up with him.

Well,I got one of my own, a male who I had thought to be a female and gave a girls name. When I went to get "Katy" spayed, the vet looked at me and said, "You don't want to spay that cat" " Why" I sez?? "The good Doc said "HE wouldn't like it"

Since then, my son who lives with me got a calico kitty and she (really "she" this time") became his attached companion, she howls mournfullly every time he leaves the house. And I kept seeing the ads for the Humane Society for homeless animals, and went and got a third one that was on the web site. "Gretle" fit right in, and now this former cat hater has three in his house. And I would not give any of them up for anything.

It is strange how animal pets will grow on you, and how much you can learn from these very clean and intelligent animals..l Yes, I know there are still cat-haters around,but I was converted. And when the light goes out at night, and two or three of these feline friends hops up on the bed wanting some attention or just a place to "crash", well, they are welcome. I hope some of you will consider helping out with this problem and adopting one of these homeless animals, and if you decide to do this, remember that this is a long term committment and that they require some care and attention.

domino 8 years, 10 months ago

About a year ago, I decided to get a Newfoundland. I wanted a purebred, but did not care anything about papers. I searched all the shelters I could find in the Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri & Nebraska area. Very few had a Newfie and most of the pictures I saw did not convince me that they were indeed purebreds. Most of the adoption fees were from $300 on up, depending on the age. I was not set on having a puppy - not having to mess with housebreaking and chewing is a definite plus, but the older dogs were even more expensive than the puppies - some shelters wanted as much as $600 for the older dogs. With the lifespan on giant breeds, I didn't really want a dog that was several years old, though. I understand that shelters/humane societies cost alot of money to operate, but I felt the prices were out of line. LHS did not have anything at the time and I do not mean this as a reflection on them. Just an overall comment that many places seem to charge quite a bit - especially when I could find a purebred with papers for not much if any more than they were wanting.

George_Braziller 8 years, 10 months ago

That's what I miss the most about my cat Max. Every night about five minutes after I went to bed I'd hear him come up the stairs and he would jump up on the bed and walk straight to my chest and nuzzle. After about ten minutes he'd move to the bottom of the bed and my other cat Al would come up and join him and we'd all drift off.

It was like clockwork.

frwent (Anonymous) "And when the light goes out at night, and two or three of these feline friends hops up on the bed wanting some attention or just a place to “crash”, well, they are welcome."

slang4d 8 years, 10 months ago

being able to adopt a pet for the cost of spaying/neutering is a fabulous deal. free? the humane society might be non-profit, but they do have expenses and paid employees! this is a service that benefits the community by allowing us to adopt cats, dogs, bunnies, etc. and it also shelters/feeds stray and abandoned animals. we should appreciate the LHS and, yes, be willing to go through an application process and shell out a bit of cash if we would like to adopt. if you can't afford the price of adoption, you can't afford to spay or neuter your pet which means...YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE ONE.

MeAndFannieLou 8 years, 10 months ago

frwent, you know what they say, one good cat leads to another!

Stuart Evans 8 years, 10 months ago

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Stuart Evans 8 years, 10 months ago

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kmat 8 years, 10 months ago

VIOLET - you are an idiot!!!! Go spend some time at the shelter to see for yourself that they are one of the best!!!!!! I dare you to go to Midge and tell her she's doing a terrible job.

Our shelter takes animals from all over the state, on top of taking everything animal control picks up. And for 9 years they haven't put any adoptable animals down.

Why are they always in constant need of help??? Because they are non-profit and handle many more animals than most other shelters ever see. They have 7500+ animals every year!!!!!!!!!!

Why don't you get off your ass, trap those feral cats and get them fixed and released??? I know many that do this. Most vets will do it for cheap, or you can take them to the Humane Society of KC who does cheap clinics and fixes them and gives them vacs for $40 or less.

Don't speak poorly about the shelter. You are talking out your ass. Yes, you have hit a nerve because I spend a lot of time there, donate a lot of funds and supplies and people like you trash the good work that is done.

Go visit other shelters that kill the animals after a few days. Yeah, they aren't always asking for help. It's because they KILL the animals.

You suck!

blackcatmomma 8 years, 10 months ago

Topeka routinely uthenizes animals. In fact, it's toooooo common. When I lived in Lawrence, I loved the fact that they were a no kill shelter. Since living here, I have even MORE respect for them. The shelter here, although they do the best they can I believe, often has to put down animals, which is very sad. Black cats, pitts, rotties and chows are almost at 100% according to a friend that works there. Sad.

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