It is estimated that more pets were adopted in 2018 over the previous year from the Central Nebraska Humane Society.
The exact number of adoptions is still being calculated because of recent Humane Society staffing and leadership changes. Certain figures were not kept up to date, said Samantha Rudolf, executive director assistant.
The estimation is based off the adoptions that occurred during the last couple of months of 2018 when the new leadership took over.
“Our November and December numbers are up 35 percent from last year. We have done all our November and December numbers so we can say (2018) adoptions are up,” Rudolf said.
That represents all animals adopted, including dogs, cats, rabbits, Guinea pigs and other pets.
In 2017, there were about 1,200 adoptions at the shelter.
Rudolf said approximately 3,000 animals were taken in by the Humane Society in 2017 and 2018.
Those who have adopted animals come from near and far. Most are from Nebraska, including as distant as Valentine, Chadron and Superior. The Humane Society has also attracted adoptors from other states when people saw a dog or cat on its website.
“We’ve had people come in from Kansas. There is a gal and her husband who own a ranch in Kansas and they’ve come in quite a bit lately, usually once a week, to look for a specific working dog,” Rudolf said.
Adopting out pets is only one focus of the Humane Society. The staff also works to get lost dogs and cats back home.
Rudolf said about half of the animals brought into the shelter are claimed by owners. Licensing and microchipping of pets helps shelters get in touch with owners. Reuniting is also spurred on by owners visiting the shelter looking for their pet and through social media.
“We post all the animals that we do find on our Facebook pages, so we always recommend looking at our Facebook pages if your animal is lost,” she said.
An adoption goal for 2019 hasn’t been set yet, but Rudolf said hopes are to increase the numbers.
“We are going to see if we can get even more dogs and cats adopted out of here,” she said.
Currently, there are 34 dogs and 10 cats ready for new homes after having received medical assessments and been spayed or neutered. Cats tend to be adopted quickly. Kittens and puppies are usually there for only a week or two after going onto the adoption floor. Older, bigger dogs typically stay longer. Five of the dogs up for adoption have been at the shelter for a year.
Rudolf encourages those interested in adopting to visit the shelter at 1312 Sky Park Road. Potential adopters can meet the dog or cat they are interested in.
“We let them hang out for a while. A lot of people stay here for a couple hours just getting to know the dog,” Rudolf said. “If they are traveling a long distance and have any pets, bring the pets, too, so they can do a meet-and-greet all in the same day. We always like it when people bring their vet records so we can make sure their animals are all up to date on their shots.”