The Student News Site of Bellevue East High School

The Tom Tom

The Student News Site of Bellevue East High School

The Tom Tom

The Student News Site of Bellevue East High School

The Tom Tom

Animals in shelters are not being adopted

Once upon a time. A young girl reads to a dog at the Nebraska Humane Society on May 4 to positively interact with the animal. “What we try to do is provide as much as we can in terms of ways that dogs and cats can check out,” Pam Wiese said. “If they want to play with something to engage their brain or enrichment to kind of district them from where they are and a lot of activity so that they feel okay.” Photo by TayLana Tolbert

A home is a place of comfort, one that can always be returned to at the end of a long day. It is a place to sleep, eat, and feel protected. Leaving  home feels like normality is being misplaced, adding hopelessness to the picture. Suddenly, it’s not comfortable to eat or sleep and habits become unhealthy.

 According to ASPCA, in the United States alone, on average, 1.5 million animals are euthanized annually. When animals enter the shelter it is hard for them to feel comfortable enough to be sent out to another home, due to the traumatic misplacement experience they have  been through. Pam Wiese, vice president of public relations and marketing at Nebraska Humane Society said strange surroundings can be frightening to animals.

“Part of the issue is that this is scary and unknown, so a dog that comes in here, or a cat, has lost everything,” Wiese said. “A lot of times they’re worried and so they go on alert. That can create behaviors that are detrimental and difficult for us to adopt them out, but it’s the very environment that’s creating the behavior. For those guys, what we try to do is get them into a foster home and get them into a home-like setting where it’s quieter.” 

Animals are abused and neglected in some shelters. Being in an unsafe environment can cause severe psychological problems for the animals. 

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“Many people loved my cat and gave him treats when he was in the shelter,” freshman Savannah Bender said. “He was taken good care of in his shelter, but some shelters are bad. I’ve seen videos and articles about people not taking good care of their pets. They’re okay for the time being but when they are in there too long they can start getting sad when other animals are being picked and they’re not.”

When getting too many animals and a shortage of volunteers, animals may not get all the attention they need to be successful. Having kennels and mixed animal environments may not be the best route for some. 

“They usually aren’t treated very well and I think they should limit who comes in and takes care of the animals,” sophomore Caytin Formo said. “I think we should open more shelters or find foster homes that take in animals for a time until they get adopted.” 

It is a constant assumption that animals in shelters are dysfunctional and unfit for homes. The idea of dysfunction pushes customers who want safety in their homes away. 

“I think that sometimes people feel like animals come to shelters because there is an issue,” Wiese said. “Maybe the animal is a bad animal, or it’s bitten, or something like that, and I think that people need to understand that a lot of times animals come to shelters just because they have nowhere else to go.” 

Alternatives for animal shelters sometimes lean toward getting a new pet, rather than an older one. Older animals may be bigger and not want to play as much, but the emotional factor remains a need for them. 

“I think animals don’t get adopted that much,” Bender said. “Usually, people go to a breeder, instead of a shelter, because some people think that animals in shelters are old and dying.”  

Prices may tempt people to favor one animal over another. Due to the surplus of animals in shelters, deals have been added to help balance the price. For example, at the Nebraska Humane Society, there’s a pick-your-price deal on dogs 6 months and up. 

“We do know that price does make a difference for some animals, and so a lot of times our puppies and kittens are the most expensive because they do go out there in high demand,” Wiese said. “We like to make sure that, if we can get them out to a home, that price does not sway people from taking them.” 

Animals not only require an excessive amount of affection, but also a bit of wealth. Between food, toys, beds, and other necessities, there’s a price to be paid for these animals in the shelter and when they get home. 

“I love animal shelters and that they give animals a second chance to be in a loving home, but sometimes they are pricey. We paid $150 for both of our kitties. They’re the best addition to our family,” Formo said.

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