Humane Society and Shelter Take in More Homeless Cats and Dogs

By Addison Speck, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - More cats and dogs are finding their way into local animal shelters and humane societies.

So far this year, the Cedar Valley Humane Society has housed about 200 more animals than it did in 2011. The Cedar Rapids Animal Shelter has also seen an increase, housing about 175 more cats than the year before.

Both organizations never want to turn animals away, so they're leaning on volunteers and offering some pretty good deals to get animals into permanent homes.

The number of animals the Cedar Rapids Animal Shelter houses annually has increased by about 200 every year, for the last several years. It expects to house 3,000 animals total in 2012. "Last week our dog kennel was packed to the gills and we were putting them in crates because we were really, really full," said Diane Webber, Manager of Cedar Rapids Animal care and control.

The Cedar Valley Humane Society is a non-profit that serves unincorporated areas of Linn County along with North Liberty, Tiffin, Solon, Swisher and Shueyville. "We're all about helping animals so any animals that need us, we are all about taking in and finding a home for," said Chuck Tourtillot, the Executive Director of the Cedar Valley Humane Society.

It's numbers for animals are up and so are its adoption numbers. But the organization still needs to find ways to get animals in good homes. "We try to generate interest, get people to the shelter with adoption sales," said Tourtillot.

The Cedar Rapids Animal Shelter said its adoption numbers are consistent with previous years, so with the increase in animals they have been turning to other people for help. "We are using more and more of our resources with our rescues and foster homes," said Webber.

Leaders can't pinpoint just one reason for the increase in homeless animals. Webber suspects the increase in cats could be somewhat related to the redevelopment of flood neighborhoods. "A lot of the cats that were being fed down in that flooded area are all now scattering," said Webber.

But, no matter how many animals there are, both places continue to try and get all the animals that come in their door, back out into permanent homes.

The Cedar Rapids Animal Shelter will hold a PAWS for the Holidays event on December 15th. It will be a bazaar and silent auction that will run from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at The Avacentre. They do suggest a donation and all the proceeds go to benefit the Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control.

The Cedar Valley Humane Society is running a pick your price adoption special. The sale is Friday through Sunday where you can adopt a pet with any amount of donation. The non-profit also suggests a donation to take a pet home. Saturday, November 17th, it will also hold an events called Draws for Paws. 10 dollars gets you a wristband that will get you cheap drinks throughout the Iowa vs. Michigan game at Parlor City. The event starts at 10 a.m. and all proceed benefit the Cedar Valley Humane Society.
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