The Eau Claire County Humane Association expresses concern over intake of animal surrenders and strays

Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 7:13 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Giving a pet as a gift may seem like a good idea until the responsibility kicks in, then some owners are faced with the decision of either keeping it or surrendering it.

Addie Erdmann with the Eau Claire Humane Association said the shelter has seen a steady stream of people surrendering their pets.

“We see 1 per day, sometimes 2 - 3 depending on if they’re surrendering more than one animal. This has been going probably since Summer,” said Erdmann.

If you do need to surrender your pet, you need to schedule that in advance to give ECCHA a chance to prepare a space for the animal.

“We’re currently scheduling out to the end of February,” said Erdmann.

She said there is a worry the shelter may have too many animals to care for while they await for a new home.

“In the last 6 months to a year we’ve been at capacity or close to. We have about 160 animals in our care, give or take. I would say about 40% of those are in foster care, and the rest are in-house,” said Erdmann.

When it gets warmer, Erdmann said that is when more animals come in.

“As we know, everybody feels like they’re going 100 miles per hour in the Summer time,” said Erdmann.

The surrendered animals coming in are on top of the strays that also find their way to the shelter as well.

That is something the Chippewa Humane Association has noticed.

“We’ve seen them increasing in the past couple of weeks,” said Samantha Wojcik who managers that shelter.

It is smaller than that of Eau Claire County, and is doing okay right now in terms of space. If it does become too much, Samantha said there is a plan.

“Our first step when people call is to try and give them other options, before the animal has to come in to the shelter. If it gets to the point where we are almost at capacity we reach out to other shelters to see if we can transfer or something like that for space,” said Wojcik.

Shelter staffers have suggestions for those looking to take on the responsibility of caring for a furry friend.

“It’s important to do your research, have the funds to supply food, toys, treats and especially veterinary care for your animal,” said Erdmann. “If you are coming on hard times we do have our community pet food pantry which is a free service you can use. Because if you’re going through a hard time we don’t want you to have to surrender your pet.”

“No one is trying to keep information from you, so if you have a question just ask,” said Wojcik.

February is prevent a litter month. ECCHA is holding a kick off event Friday February 3rd at the Brewing Projekt to promote spaying and neutering of pets.