A significant increase of intake calls at the Humane Society of Central Oregon is forcing the shelter to change their process in how they accept animals.
People can no longer simply drop the animals off. They’ll have to call ahead and hope the shelter has enough space.
“I schedule all the intake for the shelter. Over the last two months, I’ve fielded over 350 calls,” Animal Management Director for HSCO Karen Burns said. The average number of intake calls in that same timespan is 200.
HSCO is implementing a new scheduling process for animal drop-offs.
“We like to schedule appointments so we can best serve the animal that’s coming in,” Burns said. “Give them the best opportunity to have the resources available to them in our care, have the staffing available to take care of them and the kennel space to take care of them.”
Nine puppies were abandoned in the shelter’s parking lot on Thursday. While the Humane Society was happy to take them in, a phone call ahead of dropping them off could have prepared the shelter to make better arrangements.
HSCO is also contractually obligated with the City of Bend and Deschutes County to take in any stray, neglected or hoarded animals found by the two agencies.
“Usually I consider us completely full when we have eight-to-10 open kennels because we have to allow for room in that,” Burns said.
Burns says the main reasons for the increase are owners having to move or landlords banning pets, financial struggles and behavioral issues.
HSCO asks those who know they have to relinquish an animal to plan ahead and call well in advance. If HSCO can’t take the animal at that time, it will provide tips in how to keep the animal at home longer. Its goal is to divert animal intake and keep them home whenever possible.