Humane Society shelter overflows

The festive season has not been all that festive for the Cayman Islands Humane Society.

With the shelter at full capacity, the society is looking urgently for people able to adopt some of the animals.

‘We will continue to use our best options before sadly having to make some final and difficult decisions,’ said Shelter Liaison Twila Escalante.

According to Jackie Stirling of the Humane Society, the festive season is never a good time for the shelter.

‘Christmas is always a bad time, people go off Island and abandon their animals, they are also away on vacation so adoptions are lower than usual,’ said Ms Stirling.

In order to alleviate some of the pressure, the society has a Home for the Holiday foster programme to get animals out of the shelter during the busy holiday season. However, the main drive is to get the current residents adopted as soon as possible.

‘The shelter is a revolving door and we take in animals and we adopt. We continue to take in animals and have not closed our doors. We have a very good adoption rate but unfortunately it has slowed down hence our appeal to the public,’ said Ms Escalante.

At the moment the shelter has a good adoption rate for cats, but is struggling to find homes for dogs.

‘Most shelter dogs come from homes and when given a little of your time and care, make great pets and companions. In return they offer complete loyalty and are very protective of their owners and homes,’ said Ms Escalante.

Even those who cannot adopt an animal can assist the shelter in many ways.

‘The public can help by first and foremost practicing responsible pet ownership,’ said Ms Escalante.

One of the most important elements of responsible pet ownership is having a pet spayed or neutered. This prevents indiscriminate breeding and will reduce the number of unwanted puppies and kittens that end up at the shelter.

In seven years one cat and its offspring can be the source of 42,000 cats. In just six years, a dog and its offspring can be the source of 67,000 puppies.

‘The myth that neutered dogs do not make good pets or somehow lose their masculinity is a myth in itself. Neutered dogs make better pets, are healthier and do not have the tendency to wander off,’ according to Ms Escalante.

According to Ms Escalante, many pet owners still believe that they should let their pets have at least one litter before spaying or neutering. However, she points out that this is not necessary for the animal, with the shelter and pound being examples of what happens to these animals when they grow up.

Keeping pets in a fenced yard or enclosed area can also help keep them out of trouble, while keeping dogs on a pulley-line rather than chained can help decrease aggression.

Those who cannot adopt or foster a dog can volunteer or donate to the shelter.

To volunteer, email [email protected].

The society also has a wish list of items for those who want to donate. For further details, email [email protected].

For more information on adopting a pet, call 949-1461 or visit the shelter on North Sound Road.