WACO, Texas – Animals at the Humane Society are at risk for being euthanized due to the high capacity at the shelter – but their health is also something the staff is closely monitoring.
A full parking lot with many people coming through the doors is helping, but there is still a lot of work to be done to help this overflowing shelter.
Humane Society Central Texas Director Paula Rivadeneira says they have been in Code Red all summer, doing all they can to let the community know they need help with fostering or adopting animals – the next step can be euthanization.
“It’s a really complicated decision. The Humane Society and the City of Waco work together as a team to try to figure that out,” Rivadeneira said. “We haven’t had to do it in 14 months, of course. We have a plan in place, but we always hope we never have to implement that.”
With a crowded shelter, animals also have a higher risk of passing their sickness to other animals.
“If someone comes in with a cold, or with kennel cough, or canine influenza, or something like that, we have really strict protocols in terms of cleaning,” Rivadeneria said. “Luckily, we haven’t had any outbreaks of anything, because the staff really are so diligent with cleaning.”
Fostering animals and adoption is the number one way to help the shelter shrink its animal list.
I spoke with two roommates, Liz Waymire and Allie Henderson, who are doing their part to help by fostering not only one animal – but four.
“I fostered with the Humane Society before, just cause we are so full here. And we really need dogs in homes,” Waymire said. “We had a dog that didn’t quite work with our dog at home, so we decided puppies. Why not?”
“I had such a good experience fostering for the first time, and I wanted another one. Or four!,” Henderson said.
Rivadeneria says they will continue to spread the word in hopes the community will do the same. She says it’s a team effort, and it doesn’t matter how far you live – you can still help.
“We are willing to stay open as late as we need to. If people start coming in when we are supposed to be closing, we will stay,” Rivadeneria said. “We will do whatever we have to, to get these animals into homes.”