Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More about SAVE

(This post picks up where the June 20 post, about 2 animal-helping places, left off.)

Piper Huggins, executive director of SAVE, the animal shelter in Princeton Township, says, "We can't call ourselves a 'no-kill shelter'; what we are is a limited admission shelter."

By that she means, "We're very, very careful about the animals we bring to SAVE." For instance, she says, a 16-year-old cat might make an unlikely adoptee and so if SAVE is asked about taking in such a cat, staffers may instead refer to an animal sanctuary such as Tabby's Place.

She says, "It's all about bringing in cats and dogs we can find homes for fairly quickly . . . and at the same time, screening the applicants so we can be sure the match is a good one." SAVE, she says, wants to move animal out the front door as quickly as possible, into "forever homes."

At the same time, Huggins stresses that they take animals back if the adoption doesn't work out. That must be a sad experience for animals who find themselves back where they started from. Question: do animals experience lowered self-esteem when that happens; could they put together cause and effect? In this case, since they returned to the start point, would they assume they were the reason for the return?

SAVE's foster program can help make an animal more adoptable, Huggins believes. For instance, a dog with potential might be socialized to the point of adoption while living with a foster family -- and at the same time, that dog isn't taking up shelter space another animal might need.

Right now, the shelter can accommodate 60 cats and 15 dogs.

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