Kitty to Use

Hard economic times are not only impacting area residents but are filtering down to their pets as well. The Clinton Humane Society has seen an increase in all types of animals brought into the shelter.

Elise Loyola
The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

By Elise Loyola

Herald Staff Writer

CLINTON — The Clinton Humane Society is starting to feel the financial strain of the economy as it seeks to care for unwanted and abandoned pets.

Administrator Jean Regenwether indicated that the Humane Society has been getting an increase in animals of all types.

Many animals are left by owners feeling a financial strain, who are unable to keep the pet or leave a donation to help care for it. Others are strays, brought in by people who also do not leave a donation.

“We’re seeing about six new animals a day,” Regenwether stated.

This is approximately a 1.5 animal increase from the last fiscal year. It is also the maximum number of new animals the Humane Society can handle each day.

If this rate continues, Regenwether stated that the Humane Society is on track to receive 500 more animals this year than last year.

“If our financial donations don’t keep up with (the increase in animals), we’re in trouble,” said Regenwether. “We can no longer absorb some fees.”

Regenwether stated that a lot of animals come to the Humane Society in need of medical care. Some have broken bones, are in need of eye surgery, or need dental care for rotting teeth. If the animal is adoptable, the Humane Society will try to save it, if it is financially possible.

Regenwether stated that generous donors and veterinarians have assisted with medical care and vaccines.

Likewise, the Humane Society is always in need of supplies for the animals. Items like blankets and beds, toys, treats and kitty litter are greatly needed.

“That’s how we keep our animals happy,” Regenwether said.

With as many animals as the Humane Society has been receiving, Regenwether said people are still dumping animals out in the country. Regenwether prefers that people bring animals to the Humane Society rather than abandon them.

“We don’t want them starving to death or getting hit by a car,” she said. “We will never turn away an animal.”

The Humane Society adopts out an average of one animal per day. A $50 adoption fee is assessed, which covers some vaccines, worming and heart worm or feline leukemia test. Also, all animals are required to be spayed or neutered, with the cost being the responsibility of the adopting family. Regenwether stated that more animals are adopted in the summer months.

The hardest animals to adopt out are older animals and big dogs. Regenwether hopes that people will share their lives with a senior animal, even if it’s only for a few weeks.

“No blanket replaces their home,” said Regenwether.

For pet owners who are feeling a financial strain and want to keep their animal, Regenwether said it’s important to budget the animal’s expenses. She said pets can cost up to $500 a year.

Owners can speak to a veterinarian about cutting costs, adjust the animal’s food, or learn how to groom the animal at home. Also, owners should examine the cost of their animal and see what material or entertainment item they can give up.

“Emergencies do come up,” said Regenwether. It’s important to have a fund in place, should a pet need emergency care.

Regenwether also recommended that current and potential pet owners research costs online. For those thinking of adding a pet to their family, financial costs should be determined first.

“Financially, sit down and see what you can afford in the long term and if you can’t (afford it), don’t (adopt the pet),” stated Regenwether.

For more information on the Clinton Humane Society and how you can help, call 242-2457 or visit www.clintonhs.com.

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