“Home for the Holidays” – How Does Your Shelter Measure Up?

Many shelters talk about getting pets “home for the holidays” at this time of year.  But how many are actually open for adoptions at the times people are most likely to be off work and able to come in to adopt a pet during the holidays?

My local municipal kill shelter is regrettably closed on Sundays and Mondays every week and this week is no exception.  Even worse, the place is normally open for a mere 3 hours on Saturdays.  I don’t know whether it was open this past Saturday, Christmas Eve.

In contrast, the Nevada Humane Society in Reno is open for adoptions 7 days a week.  I visited the NHS website and right on the front page it says that not only would they be open regular hours on Christmas Eve, they were having reduced adoption fees and drawings for big electronics prizes in the afternoon.  I called this morning to see if they would be open for adoptions today and was told yes.

Please tell us in the comments if your local shelter is really trying to get pets home for the holidays or if they’re just saying it because it’s a catchy phrase that makes them look good.

24 thoughts on ““Home for the Holidays” – How Does Your Shelter Measure Up?

  1. oooh,oooh ( raises hand) – hard to say . They didn’t post anything or advertise any special hours.Normally they are closed for holidays. ALL of them. I’d go with door number 2- catchy phrase.
    BTW- while killing 91% of cats, they actually ASKED a shelter in the neighboring county, for Christmas Kittens!

  2. Our local shelter recently hired a new director, with a passion for rescue, and changed their hours to hopefully better accommodate the public. Their new hours for adoptions are 10:00am to 3:00pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays (used to be noon), 10:00am to 7:00pm (used to be 4:00) on Thursdays and will be closed on Wednesdays and Sundays. The facility is under manned and on a tight budget but these hours are so much better than previously.

    Another great change is all adoptable dogs are available for adoption or rescue, no breed banning as before!! As a rescuer of a previously ‘banned breed’ this is a huge change to the many breeds that would not have had an opportunity to find a home.

    Now our ‘humane’ society, they are another story …

  3. “just saying it because it’s a catchy phrase that makes them look good.” — then blaming the public for not adopting and them having to kill more than usual for the Holiday. Seem most shelter play this game — talk the good talk, but don’t walk the good walk, then blame everyone but themselves for the killing.

  4. The dc shelter where I volunteer just decided to extend Saturday hours until 7 pm. We were open weekdays until 8 pm and are cutting back to 7 pm because of light foot traffic. We had a couple adopt-a-thons last summer and fall and will probably have more in 2012. The new mobile adoption van lets us take and show many dogs and cats to events and has been a big hit with the community.

  5. Caswell County Monday hours are normally 10-5. Today they will be open from 10-12.. WoW an entire two hours.. is that for the returning of the pet given as gifts?

  6. Our shelter is open five days a week–Wednesday-Sunday. The “Closed” days are Monday and Tuesday, We were closed on Christmas, but all of the animals were put in weekend foster homes–at least, all that were left! We had a lot of adoptions in the week prior. So every pet at the shelter had Christmas with a family–and many of them were their own, brand-new, forever families.

    Of the ones that are in “foster” families for the holiday, I suspect there will be, as there were for Irene, a bunch of adoptions.

    1. On Monday, when we were “closed” but pets had begun to come back from foster, we had two more cat adoptions. A woman called, and the staff member who took the call thought, “Why pass up the chance?” and told her to come on in.

      She came in with her sister, and they each adopted a cat.

  7. Silverwalk Hounds is open all the time by appointment; call me and I will work out a time with you. My parent organization, Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary, is officially open 8-12 and 4-6 7 days a week but also, special times are available. We are both no-kill (though I recently put down a gorgeous dog for aggression – so sad).
    The local kill humane society is much more pro-active with special extended hours and themes, more adoption events and they seek rescue first. I pulled 4 Beagles/mixes from them within two months last year; only one I found; I was called for the others :).

  8. “Humane” Society of Carroll Co., MD -Shelter closed Friday, open Sat. for adoptions from 9-11:30, closed Sun. & Monday. But, hey, they don’t claim to try to get animals home for the Holidays, they don’t claim to do much, other than animal control. Despite this, I was in on Saturday morn., and they were pretty busy. At least they didn’t say all they cats had URI, and kill them all, like they did over the Thanksgiving holiday.

  9. My friend and neighbor was breaking up a dog fight and got bit by her own dog (happens a lot….) She thought she might need stitches, so she asked me to drive her to the emergency room. The doctor there was legally required to report the bite. Animal Control had called her three times before she turned her cell phone back on (not allowed to have your cell phone on while in the hospital!) She tried to call them back, and they wouldn’t take her call. We had some breakfast in town and went to pick up her prescription drugs, and Animal Control called again.
    They threatened to come out and confiscate her dog if she didn’t deliver him to them.
    Her dog has NOT been home for the holidays…he’s been in quarantine at Animal Control and won’t be allowed home until the 28th. My friend has has a rather crappy holiday, thank you very much. I don’t know their hours, but my friend has gone in to visit her dog several times. They did allow her to bring his special diet and all his supplements. Now, did they give it all to him? That I don’t know.

    1. A seven day quarantine.. I’d say your friend is pretty lucky even though it sucks. I’m so sorry for your friend.. give her a hug and one from me.

      1. Well, it’s ten days, she had to pay a $25 fine because her dog was not current on rabies, plus $15 per day boarding fee. Oh, and she couldn’t take the dog home until he was vaccinated… which I think happened today.
        She was supposed to come here tonight, but she didn’t. I’ll give her the multiple hugs when next I see her! We probably could have treated the bite wound without involving doctors and thus Animal Control. We’ll know better next time…although the antibiotics are important, and they usually require a doctor.

      1. I don’t know. Privatization can be a positive or a negative, historically speaking. It sounds like the manager is required to be an employee of the city. So Hall, Hooks and Wharton would still be the big bosses. Not sure how much change could take place with those 3 piloting the thing since they have thus far resisted attempts to change and in the case of transparency and public trust, have actually gone backwards.

      2. If I’m reading this right, all existing staff would lose their jobs (see p. 30, “Employment of City Workers”). So on the assumption that newly hired private shelter staff would likely cost something less than current staff are paid, I see this as an attempt to cut the city budget while diminishing the PR problems caused by the shelter.

        Also, it looks as if the shelter director will not be allowed to talk to the media without getting permission from the city in writing beforehand. Some degree of political oversight over communication seems normal, especially where a sensitive topic is concerned, but this degree of control will be a problem.

        Unaddressed here is the question of whether a private shelter under contract to a city government would be required to respond to TN sunshine law information law requests.

        And the shelter director will still have unlimited power to kill an animal. I don’t see that anyone will have legal standing to intervene to prevent an animal from being killed, or even to demand that animals be made available for adoption. Unless I’ve missed something, the power dynamics haven’t changed and for the animals in the shelter, and the local advocates who want them saved, it’s still a crapshoot, dependent entirely on the character and goals of the person in charge.

      3. There is a line in there that in the event of FOIA requests, the vendor must respond to the city within 5 days. Taxpayers are still entitled to know how their money is being spent, regardless of whether the city fails to run an agency properly and must contract operations out to private vendors.

  10. Charlotte-Mecklenburg was, of course, closed on Sunday and Monday. City employees working a holiday? Hell No!!! Of course there was someone there KILLING.

  11. Correction to my last post- They only have 7 cats for adoption on the website now, so it looks like they are celebrating New Years by killing most of the cats.

  12. Most people are likely to get a pet on the weekends (Sat and Sun) Id assume so if a shelter is not open on either/both of those days, they are going to drastically cut down the number of adoptions. Its a sad thing. If they had as many volunteers to work certain days as the one in Reno does, then I dont really see how it couldnt be open on weekends too. Renos not THAT big of a city, like say Los Angeles or New York, so Id say most cities could do it if they could do it. It makes me think its just a lack of motivation/care for the dogs and a happy catchphrase.

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