Shelter will consider ‘humane destruction’ in extreme cases
The Cayman Islands Humane Society is filled “beyond maximum capacity” and has been forced to close its doors to new animals on a temporary basis.
The society is appealing to animal lovers to come forward to adopt some of the dogs housed in cramped conditions at its George Town shelter.
Directors of the society took the step today of reminding the public through an advert – page 10 – in the Caymanian Compass that it did have the option of considering the “humane destruction of sick and unwanted animals”.
A spokesperson said this would only be considered as an absolute last resort, but directors had wanted to address the false perception that the shelter has a “no kill” policy.
They added that for shelters that accepted sick and injured animals, sometimes humane destruction was the only option.
The society is appealing to dog lovers, volunteers and previous foster owners, as well as other animal interest groups, to come forward and assist.
The shelter is understood to be about 40 per cent beyond capacity, with at least 50 more animals out in foster homes and still technically under the care of the society.
In today’s advert the society directors warn: “CIHS is struggling to cope with the volume of rescued and surrendered animals taken in at the shelter and is now operating well beyond capacity … the only option is to decline any further acceptances of animals to the shelter until the current situation can be remedied.”
The shelter is offering a 50 per cent discount on adoption fees and has successfully transferred scores of dogs to overseas shelters, including 10 in the last fortnight.
Directors say that for every dog that goes out another is coming in. One dog was simply left abandoned, tied up outside the shelter earlier this month.
They say lack of space in the shelter is affecting the dogs’ quality of life and causing stress and aggression among some animals.
In their advert they add: “Volunteers that have an interest in animals through regular visits are urged by the CIHS to consider adopting their animal of interest or to encourage their friends to do so, not limiting this to the Cayman Islands as adoptions and transfers abroad are possible.”
Directors say they are not yet at the point where animals are about to be put down. But they want the public to be aware that this is an option open to them.
“To help put animals out of their misery is an extreme option but may be the only option in cases where dogs and cats have become unadoptable and their quality of life in the shelter is affected, or they are affecting other animals quality of life and depriving potentially adoptable animals the opportunity to find homes owing to lack of space,” the advert read.
“CIHS is struggling to cope with the volume of rescued and surrendered animals taken in at the shelter and is now operating well beyond capacity.”