The Moose Jaw Humane Society (MJHS) is asking pet owners to give as much notice as possible before surrendering their pets.
MJHS is a shelter that does not euthanize animals for space, and Dana Haukaas, executive director, said that knowing about a surrender in advance gives them more time to plan for a pet’s arrival. “We completely understand that people’s lives can change in an instant. We want to help, but we need as much notice as possible so that we can make sure that we have a spot for your pet when you need to rehome them.”
She said that they’ve been seeing an increase in unclaimed pets since the summer, which is also having an impact on their available space. “People are just dumping their dogs on the streets or out in the country, and we are getting them brought in as strays.”
During the frigid temperatures earlier this month, they received a call about Great Dane mixes running around someone’s acreage. “We got a call from a family that these two dogs had showed up on their acreage, and they wouldn’t leave. It was minus 45. They couldn’t catch them, and they only had a car, so they weren’t able to put the two big Dane mixes into their vehicle to get them to us.”
“The shelter manager Melissa and I went out to try and catch them. They were so scared, and so thin, that it took us an hour at minus 45 to earn their trust enough to get them into our vehicle.”
The male and female pair were so thin that they were put on a feeding regimen to help them gain weight. Nine days later, the male dog fell ill and a checkup at the vet showed that he had spleen cancer. “We made the difficult decision to let him go. Keeping him around would have been selfish – it would have been for us, not for him, because he had no quality of life.”
The female is still healthy and continuing with the feeding regimen. She has a family on standby to take her into their care when she’s reached her goal weight.
Recently a woman also brought the shelter two three-month old puppies that she found by the highway when driving back from Regina. The puppies had a terminal virus, and a vet checkup determined that euthanizing them was the best decision.
Ensuring that pets are spayed or neutered is a way to prevent strain on the shelter system. “The cost of a spay is expensive, but it’s much less expensive than having to feed nine puppies for eight weeks and vaccinate them and deworm them.”
If anyone would like to foster animals, Moose Jaw Humane Society would like to hear from you. They have a signup form on their website.