What to help?
If you want to adopt a pet or more informationabout it, call the Golden Belt Humane Society at 620-792-4297 or visit its Facebook page. The society is located south of Great Bend at 151 S. 281 Highway.
Artemis needs a home.
So does Bella.
In fact, so do Cooper, Houston and Midge.
All of the above cats and dogs are sitting in pens at the now over-crowded Golden Belt Humane Society. They are joined by about 70 other animals awaiting adoption.
“We are completely full,” said GBHS Director Heather Acheson. “We are in need of forever homes for our cats and dogs.”
She spoke as she navigated the maze of cages and rooms filled with potential furry family members. “We have amazing adoption specials right now and some pretty amazing pets to pick from.”
It was tough to hear her above the din of barks, yips, yelps and meows. From their cages, the animals all vied for the attention of passersby.
The society is still offering reduced adoption fees for all dogs and cats. These fee’s include sponsored vaccines, and spays and neuters. Adoption fee for a fully vetted dog is $25. Adult cats are free and kittens are $20.
Dogs normally cost $75, plus the cost of spaying and neutering. Cats are normally $30.
As of Friday, the society had 34 dogs needing to be placed and about the same number of cats. Acheson has room for 40 dogs and 28 cats.
Dogs are now being housed in the facility’s old building that they try not to use and in the isolation pens that are normally reserved for sick or abused canines.
Cats are roaming in the free-roaming cat room since the feline cages are already at capacity.
“We are no longer able to take any owner surrenders at this time,” she said. She also stressed that if one’s dog is currently at the shelter, they want the pet claimed as soon as possible.
Why the glut?
Over past month, the problem has gotten worse, Acheson said. The cause is the starting of school.
“People don’t adopt when school is in session,” said. The reasons are varied, but a big part of it is that there is no one home during the day to care for the animals.
“This is an issue nationwide,” she said.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, 6–8 million pets end up in shelters each year and half of those will probably not be adopted. Sadly, the society reports that about 2.4 million healthy, adoptable cats and dogs—about one every 13 seconds — are put down in U.S. shelters each year.
“We’ve had to reach out to other shelters,” Acheson said, and they have been working to get some of the dogs transferred to other facilities, such as the Lawrence Humane Society. This has been a successful partnership, Acheson said, adding the animals get adopted faster in the larger community.
But, “a lot of shelters are pretty stinking full right now,” Acheson said, and Lawrence is no exception. “They’ve been hit pretty hard, too.”
The society holds monthly adoption events on the first Saturday of month at Orsheln Farm and Home Store in Great Bend and other locations. They also set up displays at various area festivities.
“We adopt out a few at these,” she said.
For more information, call 620-792-4297 or visit its Facebook page. The society is located south of Great Bend at 151 S. 281 Highway.