KINGMAN – In a one-hour span on the day before the Fourth of July, Kingman Animal Shelter manager Lisa Snyder took in two “surrenders” from dog owners, adding to the 368 dogs and cats brought to the shelter during the month of June.
One family said their dog was “sweet,” but was jealous and aggressive with a younger child.
“This is just one of many stories that comes up,” Snyder said Tuesday after completing monthly reports for the Kingman shelter operated by the Western Arizona Humane Society. “Have a kid, ditch the dog.”
Another man said his shift changed at work and he could no longer take care of a dog he’d adopted six months ago.
There was a couple that split up, and their dog was dumped. Another couple married and they kept her dog, but not his, because they didn’t get along. One backyard breeder brought in 16 Boston terriers. It’s a sad story for each of the 203 “turn-ins” for June.
The shelter at 950 Buchanan St. is overcrowded with dogs doubling up and tripling up in some of the kennels, which helps get them adopted because people can see they get along with other dogs, Snyder said.
“There’s Violet,” she pointed to one of the dogs in the kennel. “She’s been here since April and she’s a real sweetheart.”
The unwanted pet population has swelled to 268 dogs and cats at the shelter and at PetSmart, with another 116 in foster care, the manager noted. She’s running a $30 “empty-the-shelter” adoption special for dogs over 30 pounds for the next two weeks, with about 50 currently available for adoption.
Some people turn their pets in as strays because they don’t want to pay the $25 processing fee. That’s not fair to those animals because they’re held for three to seven days, compared with 24 hours for a turn-in.
“You can tell they’re not neglected or abused, just someone dumping them,” Snyder said. “If you’re going to turn in a dog, just admit it’s your dog so it doesn’t have to sit here.”
Then there’s people who will return one dog and ask if they can go look for another one. “Hell no,” Snyder responds.
She said 32 animals actually went back home to their owners in June.
Cats and kittens are an “epidemic,” Snyder added. She’s had pregnant cats brought in that gave birth while at the shelter, and feral cats that are trapped, neutered and released. There were eight at the beginning of the week, but they’re down to one.
“People with ranches and commercial properties who want to control snakes and rodents come and get them after they’ve been fixed. It gives them a new lease on life,” Snyder mentioned. “That’s our working cats program. They catch mice and chase rabbits. Everybody’s got a purpose in life.”
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