Space is tight at animal shelters in southern Indiana | news

NEW ALBANY — Zorah is a sweet, shy Rottweiler who has been at the New Albany/Floyd County Animal Shelter since late August.

She enjoys a few treats from shelter director David Hall and adoption coordinator Karyn Hickey on Thursday afternoon as a chorus of barks and meows echo through the building.

According to Hall, like nearly all animal shelters in the area, the New Albany location is nearly full and the holidays are approaching, which means more animals could need homes in the coming months.

“She’s a really great dog. She’s not a big fan of other dogs and small animals and tends to be picky about people,” Hickey said. “When she picks you, she’s super goofy and clingy and flops everywhere and loves to play.”

She was brought to the shelter as a stray and her microchip connected her to a Florida rescue after she was unable to contact her previous owner. This rescue worked with the New Albany Animal Shelter to bring her back then Hurricane Ian hit. Now she is up for adoption in southern Indiana.

“So it just takes the right person and that’s all part of the right fit,” Hall said. “That’s the whole offshoot of what we’re trying to tell people, you gotta wait. Puppies are cute, puppies are neat, but you don’t know the dog’s personality as well as when he’s maybe a year old.”

Hall said he’s not sure why people give away pets during the holiday season, but it does happen and sometimes people don’t know what they’re getting into. The same happened after the COVID shutdown.

“I really think we’re at a point where animals are coming back. Sometimes when the owners get the pet, they weren’t paying attention and didn’t understand exactly what we’re talking about,” he said. “During the shutdown (people got animals) and they’re back here now. They just don’t realize how much actual work the dog was.”

Hall encourages people to do their homework before choosing a pet and make sure they’re ready for the responsibilities and vet bills that come with it.

The shelter has a total capacity for about 50 animals. There are currently a number of larger dogs and many cats available for adoption. Anyone who wants to adopt from the shelter will get the animal with all the current vaccinations and will be spayed or neutered.

According to Hall, staffing is an issue when it comes to spaying and neutering pets at the shelter. At the moment, they don’t always have enough vets available to provide these services.

The shelter will be hosting an adoption event in a few weeks for people willing to commit to new pets. More information on this will be published shortly.

Hall and Hickey said there’s no real rhyme or reason for how long it takes to adopt a pet from a shelter.

“We have some that leave the day they’re put up for adoption,” Hickey said. “Then we have guys like (the dog) Zero, and Zero was a dog that was just adopted. He was put up for adoption for three months.”

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