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Over the weekend the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri celebrated its ‘Hound Dog Homecoming’ in honor of national Adopt a Shelter Dog month. Every October the local chapter participates in this nation-wide campaign to promote animal rescue and reduce the number of unwanted pets. Each year as many as 6 to 8 million homeless animals wind up in shelters. Of that number only half find new homes. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann went to the Humane Society to learn more.
Around 500 people attended the Hound Dog Homecoming, which has already raised nearly $20,000 locally. Lesly Thurman is executive director for the humane society. She says the event is an important part of the local mission .
“We’ve got lots of really, really great animals. Lots of purebred dogs. You know the great thing about getting a dog from a shelter is that we’re going to be 100 percent upfront. We really want to make sure that we’re doing our part to ensure their next stop is their last stop. You know, we don’t want to just pawn them off on somebody, and we are not making a profit,” Thurman says.
Thurman says the Humane Society is the only open admission shelter in the area, which means it doesn’t turn any animals away. She says that most of their dogs and cats end up here due to no fault of their own.
“We take in about 6,000 homeless animals a year. Most of the pets dropped off at our facility are surrendered by their owners. The number one reason that people drop their pet off, at our shelter anyway, is because they are moving. You know, in most cases it’s not because the dog has a behavior problem, is aggressive, or any kind of illness. It’s simply that they didn’t make necessary accommodations for the dog before they planned their move,” Thurman says.
[sound of dogs barking]
Thurman says there are around 200 dogs and 200 cats here at the shelter awaiting homes. She says one of the benefits of getting pets from shelters, is that the initial costs and of acquiring a pet are included. She adds that everything about the history of that pet is also shared with the family to ensure the best possible match. Thurman says that adoption fees for both cats and dogs include spaying or neutering, required shots, and microchipping. Dogs also receive one free dog training class.
Thurman says animal lovers of all kinds can still help, even if they are not looking for a new pet. She says the Humane Society can always use volunteers to help with the animals and supplies. Bedding, fleece blankets, and sturdy chew toys are always needed. For KSMU News, I’m Theresa Bettmann.