FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control is implementing a new program to hopefully cut down on the number of owners who surrender their pets.
It’s called the Pet Assistance and Rehoming Program. Shelter Director Amy Jo Sites tells WOWO News it’s aimed at preventing pets from having to enter the shelter by keeping them at home with their owners whenever possible.
“The number 1 reason (owners surrender their animals to FWACC) is due to cost. Or often we’ll get a call 24 hours later from the family, detailing issues like ‘the dog wouldn’t stop barking’. So we’re implementing this program to try to keep those pets in the home by providing the resources to do so.”
That means the shelter will no longer accept walk-in owner surrenders, but Sites adds that doesn’t mean they’ll turn anyone away.
Instead, pet owners first work one-on-one with a staff member to address the underlying issues that are preventing them from keeping their pet, or learn how to rehome their pet without bringing it to the shelter. If pet owners ultimately decide they must surrender their animal to the shelter, they can do so by appointment only.
“One of our main priorities is helping people hold on to their beloved pets, and this program allows us to focus on providing resources to help them do that,” Sites adds. “Competition is tough when our kennels are full and we need to make decisions on outcomes for these animals. By implementing this new life-saving program, pet owners are giving us more time to find a positive outcome for their pet by keeping it in their homes or even rehoming it themselves.”
Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control has been awarded a $5,000 matching grant from the Best Friends organization to help support this program through the Pet Retention Fund. They hope to raise an additional $5,000 by September 15th.
Learn more about the new program by clicking here.