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Humane Society hits road for adoptions

It may be hard to imagine an area in our country so desperate for pets they have to be shipped in. But, that’s the case in one area of the northeast and the Humane Society of Escambia County is doing their part to save the lives of animals and bring joy to hundreds of families each year.

Renee Jones, director of HSEC, said the shelter typically transports adoptable puppies and dogs to shelters in the northeast to help meet the demand for adoptions in the area.

“We do work with shelters in other areas who have a high demand for adoptable pets,” Jones said. “We have transported animals who have found new homes in Salem Mass., and Brunswick, Maine. This practice has been a good arrangement for everyone. We save the lives of these pets and the new owners are happy, too.”

Jones said although the transported animals may have otherwise been euthanized at the local shelter, she has certain criteria that must be met at shelters served by the transport project.

“I make sure that the shelters we send these animals to is a good one that cares for the animals and finds them good homes,” Jones said. “I never send animals from here that I don’t know where they are going and how they will be handled.”

Jones said she has severed relationships with other shelters who have failed to meet certain criteria.

“We sent animals to a shelter that didn’t do everything they could to take care of adoptable animals already in their area,” Jones said. “When a shelter won’t go to the local animal control shelter and save animals there who could be adopted, they aren’t doing their part to take care of the animals that already require their help. It’s important to me that they help those in their area before reaching out for more.”

Jones said some shelters in other states have higher adoption fees for animals received from transports such as the one with HSEC.

“Some of the shelters can charge up to about $300 in adoption fees for animals they get from other shelters,” Jones said. “From what I know about those shelters, that isn’t unreasonable. They are in larger areas where overhead is much higher than what we have. There demand is also greater and that has some bearing on adoption costs. Those shelters also have to take care of the spay and neuter services for the animals we send.”

With additional medical costs incurred by receiving shelters, Jones said the local shelter only does what is necessary to make sure they send healthy, adoptable animals out of state.

“We take care of vaccinations and de-worming here before they are sent elsewhere,” Jones said. “We would do those things even if the animals were staying local. It’s just something you do to make sure no disease or illness invades the entire shelter. We don’t send any animal to be adopted elsewhere until we know they are well and ready for adoption.”

Although the transporting of animals may help alleviate some of the overcrowding at the local shelter, Jones said shipping animals to other parts of the country is not the answer to controlling overpopulation.

“Transporting animals out of the area is not the answer to the problem of animal control,” Jones said. “It is only a band aid on the problem we face. Spaying and neutering animals is the only answer to helping the overpopulation of animals in this area.”

Jones said pets are available for adoption at the local shelter regularly with adoption fees helping to keep other services going at the shelter.

Anyone interested in making a donation of needed items, cash or in making an adoption may call 867-6860 for a list of requested donations and kennel hours.