For weeks there have been non-stop visits from animal control and one pet after another for the Humane Society of the New Braunfels Area.
Nothing has changed – the animals are still sitting in kennels in the shelter’s crowded hallways eagerly awaiting adoption, and even with reduced adoption costs, there are no adopters in sight.
Amid an overcrowding crisis at the Humane Society of the New Braunfels Area, the shelter made the difficult decision to begin culling the animals with the least adoption potential on Monday.
“These are dogs we know we should be able to help – it’s heartbreaking,” said Humane Society of the New Braunfels Area executive director Sarah Hammond. “It’s one thing when an animal comes in and they’re clearly in pain…but when you have an otherwise healthy dog that maybe has a few ticks on it that we have to let go after caring for it for several weeks (it’s terrible).”
This is the first time in nearly five years that the no-kill shelter, which means the shelter is 90% no-kill, has put down an animal in its care that could have been helped with more time and resources.
Hammond and his team worked tirelessly for two weeks to keep the unwanted alternative at bay, but despite lowering adoption fees and doing everything possible to spread the word, the problem persisted. Since dog storage is not an option, steps had to be taken to control the shelter population.
“Storing animals is not acceptable,” Hammond said. “If we cannot provide (freedom from hunger and thirst, freedom from discomfort, freedom from pain, injury or disease, freedom to express normal behavior and freedom from fear and distress) to every dog in our care, then we’re not doing our job.”
When the socially responsible animal sanctuary is put in the position to decide which animals it can no longer afford to help, it considers factors such as the animal’s health and behavior before making any decisions.
Dogs who have behavioral problems due to previous circumstances or who have developed unsociable behavior inside the shelter and dogs who arrive with serious medical issues that may be too costly to resolve, make the list.
“At this time last year, these types of dogs, we knew we could find the right place for them, but now these minor issues are completely insurmountable,” Hammond said.
The problem, Hammond says, has nothing to do with the size of the shelter, but everything to do with people taking in pets they don’t have to take, and they aren’t fixed or microchipped.
With the number of dogs entering the shelter and fewer being adopted, the worst-case scenario Hammond feared is happening and until the situation is under control, she will have to keep making tough calls.
“Overall you can’t help but feel like a failure – all of us – that’s what we do for a living and then all of a sudden the option is to put these dogs to sleep? This is not the reason we got into this,” Hammond said.
In an effort to get more dogs adopted into their forever homes and find more people willing to foster until they can be adopted, The Humane Society is hosting an adoption and fundraising event this weekend. -end.
The Humane Society will do $14 adoptions at the event, which will have a climbing wall and opportunities to buy candy at the bake sale and win items in their raffle while enjoying cones of snow and burgers. The money donated for the purchase of raffle tickets and baked goods will go to benefit human society.
The event will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 14 at the grounds of the Humane Society of the New Braunfels Area facility located at 3353 Morningside Drive in New Braunfels and will continue until 4 p.m.
Dogs available for adoption are listed on the Humane Society’s website, and those interested in adopting an animal from the shelter before the event can complete an application online. For more information on animal adoption and humane society, visit https://www.hsnba.org/.