Humane Society: Surrendering pets can be emotional for all

Published 7:07 am Sunday, March 6, 2016

By Carey Sharp

Mower County Humane Society

The Mower County Humane Society receives dogs and cats from three sources.

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The shelter’s first priority is to rescue the animals that remain unclaimed at the city pound. Next on the list are animals that are found running stray in Mower County, outside of the city limits. Owner surrenders are last on the shelter’s intake list, but are among the most difficult. The MCHS has seen a large increase in the number of owner surrender requests.

For most people, the idea of surrendering a family pet is incomprehensible. After all, they are supposed to be members of the family and a commitment for life. Life can change drastically, however, in a short period of time. Sometimes these big changes leave no other option for someone other than giving up the beloved companion animal.

It’s easy to become angry or frustrated when hearing the reasons for surrendering a pet. Many of the stories are heard far too frequently by shelter volunteers. Compassion and empathy can go a long way. Sometimes it helps to simply listen.

Bringing a pet to a shelter is in no way easy. It can be a very emotional moment for all involved, including shelter personnel. Volunteers not only have to console a scared and bewildered animal, but also reassure the saddened owner that the right thing is being done. In this difficult situation, people deserve to be treated with kindness, leaving their dignity intact.

It is important that people know that the shelter and its staff can be trusted in these situations. If the MCHS can’t accommodate a surrender request right away, volunteers can often provide advice or other options. MCHS volunteers would rather have people reach out to us for help instead of utilizing online sites to re-home their pets. Shelter staff will make sure that the cat or dog is placed in a carefully screened home with the best chance at a well deserved happy ending.

 Pasta dinner a success

The annual Pasta Dinner and Silent/Live Auction was held on Feb. 28 and was a big success.

More than 350 people attended the event, held at the Holiday Inn in Austin. In addition to a pasta dinner buffet, guests were able to bid on silent auction items and listen to music provided by local band, Rush Hour. A live auction was also held, guided by the always entertaining Al Smith. Thank you to all who attended and to all the people and businesses who donated items. Thank you, too, to all the volunteers who worked so diligently to make this fundraiser happen.

Remember, the MCHS is funded entirely through fundraisers and donations. There are no paid employees. This year’s Pasta Dinner/Auction raised about $14,000.

We are grateful for donations in memory of “Couquina” Bates, “Gomer” Twedell, Edger Nelson, The Handke Family, Doug Lindgren, David Robert Plantikow, Delven Gau Sr., MCHS “Schotzie”, “Bentley”, and “Angel”, Cliff Bailey, and Sharon Keers.