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Hailey shelter seeing influx of animal intakes

“It’s a complete reversal of what happened during the pandemic”
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 7:20 AM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — During the pandemic, pet adoptions skyrocketed nationwide; but now, nearly a year and a half later, one Hailey shelter is seeing a different case.

“It’s a complete reversal of what happened during the pandemic,” said Mountain Humane’s Senior Director of Shelter Operations Kelly Mitchell.

The fear amid the adoption boom was pets would be surrendered when their owners returned to the workplace or found new jobs, but Mountain Humane has not seen that at their facility.

“We’re finding that is absolutely not the case,” said Mitchell. “Those animals are staying with their owners and adopters.”

Mountain Humane instead attributed their influx of animals to what they called unforeseen situations happening statewide that are unmanageable for smaller shelters.

“For instance, one case was 65 animals, another was a litter of nine puppies that had been dumped at a dairy and another had been 18 puppies,” said Kennel and Transfer Manager Lauren Ponder.

On top of the influx of intakes, a shortage of staffing has also affected the shelter, who are currently operating with roughly half of their pre-pandemic staff.

While their building is full, their capacity for care increases as they grow their foster family pools.

This year alone, 214 foster families took over 295 animals into their homes.

“Right now is kitten and puppy season. We have a ton of puppies that are in fosters right now and it really helps alleviate stress on the staff,” said Volunteer Coordinator Kelsey Strahle.

Above all else, Mountain Humane is proud to be in the position as a no-kill shelter to help other overwhelmed shelters and animals in need.

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