Shelter offers adoption specials during busy winter seasonBy Emily Beckett Published 3:11pm Monday, January 6, 2014
The Chilton County Humane Society will continue to run adoption specials for cats and dogs through the end of January because of its abnormally heavy influx of animals this winter.
Although June and July are typically the heaviest months for the shelter in terms of the number of animals needing permanent homes each year, Chilton County’s shelter has received many more animals during the winter months this year, especially December.
“I’ve never seen a December that’s been this busy before,” Chilton County Humane Society Director Jessica Terry said. “We’re still getting litters in and that’s the shocking thing.”
Terry said the litters, of dogs and cats, normally consist of about 6–8 puppies and kittens but can be as large as 10–12.
After a busy summer season, the shelter usually sees its number of owner surrenders and strays decrease in October, November and December.
Then, the number of animals at the shelter tends to increase in February, partially because some people that got pets around Christmas have decided to give them up for reasons such as time and expense, Terry said.
2013 was an exception to the trend of a slower winter season. Terry said she isn’t sure whether the primary reason for the influx is related to pet owners not getting their pets spayed or neutered, but she and her co-workers advocate spaying and neutering to control the pet population.
“Really and truly, I don’t know,” Terry said. “I don’t know if more people are getting more pets and just not getting them altered. If they would start spaying and neutering, I wouldn’t be so heavy on intake.”
In December 2013, the shelter had 181 intakes (owner/guardian surrenders and strays), 24 adoptions, nine returned to owners and 91 animals euthanized.
In December 2012, the shelter had 151 intakes, 28 adoptions, one returned to owner and five transferred out of the shelter.
As of Monday, the shelter had about 90 cats and dogs available for adoption.
“We do have quite a few that are supposed to leave out for rescue in the next week or so,” Terry said. “We’re just waiting on that.”
Adoption specials are $80 each for puppies, $50 each for adult dogs, and $60 for two cats or two kittens.
Normally, adoption fees at the shelter are $100 each for puppies, $80 each for adult dogs and $60 each for cats and kittens.
Terry said the two-for-the-price-of-one special on cats and kittens has been beneficial because many people want their pets to have a buddy.
Anyone interested in adopting an animal from the Chilton County Humane Society may call (205) 755-9170 or visit the shelter, which is located at 139 Shade Tree Drive in Clanton.
Pictures of and information about animals available for adoption at the shelter may be viewed at ChiltonCountyHumaneSociety.org.
The shelter is also planning to hold adoption events throughout the year at the new Tractor Supply store in Clanton, the annual Peach Jam Jubilee in June, Dottie Day in May and possibly at PetSmart in Alabaster or Prattville.
Terry said more information about adoption events would be posted on the shelter’s billboard on Highway 31 near Shade Tree Drive.
For those who cannot adopt an animal, the shelter is always accepting donations of money and supplies.
“Right now, we’re low on cat litter,” Terry said.
The shelter is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 20 p.m. It is closed Sunday and Wednesday.
Foster care is an option for people willing and able to provide a temporary home for an animal until it is adopted and helps reduce the number of animals at the shelter.
“You can’t always find them all homes,” Terry said. “We do the very best we can. We even volunteer our own personal time, but everything we do isn’t always good enough. If [pet owners will] do their part have their pets fixed, that’s going to cut down on what I’m having to deal with here.”