WHY WE DO THINGS AT OUR SHELTER
Our shelter has been in our community for over 50 years. Through the years, and the wear and tear of housing animals, it has become run down and old. That doesn't mean that our care and procedures are too!! Our animals are provided with the utmost care and treatment we can provide to them. Nonetheless, we sometimes hear complaints from people regarding our facility and our procedures.
There are very good reasons for everything we do.
Animals kept hidden from the public
There are many reasons why a few of our pets are not available to the public. The first reason is that an animal in a new environment, particularly one that may be confusing or frightening to them, may bite or scratch defensively. Having the animals out of reach reduces the chances of accidental injuries to visitors. Giving them a few days to get used to the place helps them, and the public. It also allows for the lost animals to be found by their owner. Preventing the public from seeing unavailable animals, prevents from possible owners not finding their pets and disappointment from finding out you fell in love with an unavailable pet. Second, sick and wounded animals are kept isolated and away from the rest of the population. This prevents from the rest of the animals from also getting sick. Unfortunately due to the unknown history of each of our animals, disease control can be very tough. To help prevent others from getting sick, we try to isolate any pets on medication or showing signs of illness. It also allows our sick animals some privacy and quiet so they can get better faster. Lastly, we work with our communities various City Animal Control, and hold or quarantine their aggressive pets or animals pending court cases. These animals are not safe to be in the public and we do our best that they stay isolated. There are times though that lack of space or available cages prevents us from keeping anyone of these type of situations isolated.
The animals have to sit in a cage all day
Yes, sitting in a cage is not something we want for our pets. Unfortunately due to lack of knowledge and responsibility there is an overpopulation of unwanted pets. Our animals are given the best care that we are able to provide to them. Most of them are probably in a better situation then where they were before. Our staff and volunteers are constantly giving them love and attention. All of our dogs are walked, sometimes twice a day! All of our cats are cuddled. With the help of our wonderful volunteers our animals are given the best tender loving care possible.
There's no food/water for them
There's pee and poo in the cage
Our shelter opens for the public each morning at 9am or 10am, but what you don't see is that our staff is there at 7:30am. This allows us to feed and clean the cages before opening time occurs. Our animals are fed in the morning and in the evening before we go home, so no feeding is needed during the times you see our pets. Each time you pass by our pets cages, what do the animals do? They jump and run and bark for attention, knocking over everything around them, including their water bowls. Don't worry though our staff will fill it up again soon!!! The main reason why we don't keep food out all day: the mess the animals will make. Animals will pee and poo as they please. We cannot be there the instant it occurs to clean it up. Please keep that in mind when you see a messy cage. Our staff our constantly checking the cages for messes, and unfortunately cannot prevent from the public from seeing the mess. Animals make messes if you are not able to handle that, an animal is not right for you!!
The animals are all sick and have diarrhea, and no one is doing anything
Diarrhea is caused by many things change in a pet's diet or food, change in their environment, stress or anxiety are just a few. These are things each one of the animals will experience being in a shelter. Food is donated and can vary on the brands. Being in a cage and people walking by is very new. The overall feeling is just stressful for them. So unfortunately diarrhea is a common ailment in a shelter. Each of our animals are monitored and accessed for other symptoms, just in case it is something else.
They made me go home and get my paperwork!! They make you show proof of owning.
Over half of the animals in a shelter are there because the owner could not take it to wherever they were going. That's only one of the many reasons why our shelter is needed. Our way is preventing it from happening again to our pets is to make sure they go to a permanent home. Please understand our concerns and be patient through our processes.
They turned me down to adopt a dog!
Our one and only concern is the wellbeing of our pets. We access each potential adopter and the pet chosen. If at anytime OCHS staff feels that your lifestyle or home environment will not match well with the pet you have chosen, we will decline to do the adoption. Be patient, your perfect match will come, we cannot force what we know will not be a good match.
RULES/POLICIES TO REMEMBER:
Please read all cage signs and follow all instructions.
Pay close attention to CAUTION or Quarantine postings.
Wash your hands between each pet visit, to prevent from the spread of diseases
Never open a cage or enter one
Watch your hands and fingers when putting into a cage, although they mean no harm, you are a stranger entering their only home, you would protect it too.
Always ask a staff member for assistance when visiting a pet
Remember, most of our animals enter our facility with unknown history, there is no guarantee to the disposition or health of an animal.
We know how much you love animals and want to help them too, but we hope this helps you understand why we do what we do. No system is perfect. In fact, we'd rather not have to have a shelter to house unwanted pets at all, but as long as there are animals waiting for new homes, we need to address both people and animal issues as best as we can.
If you have other questions or would like to share your comments about our shelter please email [email protected]