Animal Glut Prompts Shelter Action

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With a glut of puppies, dogs, kittens, and cats, the Payson Humane Society is pulling out all the stops to keep from having to euthanize any of them.

"We are full up," shelter attorney Carol Stubbs said "We've got like 18 dogs on a waiting list, and we're up to our ears in cats and kittens. We're stuffed."

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Payson Humane Society employee Penny Bosman poses with one of the puppies currently on sale at the shelter.

A puppy sale is currently underway at the shelter, which is at 812 S. McLane Road, just south of Main Street. Puppies which normally go for $50 are on sale for $40 each or two for $60, which includes spaying or neutering.

"Some of them are getting to the age where nobody is looking at them," Falicia D'Addabbo, dog supervisor said. "That's only about 3 months old."

A similar sale recently reduced the kitten population at the shelter, but there are still plenty left -- as well as 45 adult cats.

Shelter goes worldwide

The Payson Humane Society also has gone high tech in its attempt to avoid euthanizing animals, with its pets now available over the Internet at www.petfinder.com. The site, the oldest and largest database of homeless pets in the world, helped 1.5 million pets find new families last year alone.

"Once a pet's photo and description are added to our database, its chances of being adopted go up substantially," Betsy Saul, Petfinder president and co-founder, said. "No longer does a pet have to wait for an adoption day event or for someone to walk in the door at the shelter. Its information is out there for potential adopters to see from the comfort of their own homes on their own time schedule."

Petfinder also is helpful for people looking for a specific kind of dog or cat. Pets from more than 7,700 animal welfare organizations, including the Payson Humane Society, can be viewed at www.petfinder.com/shelters.

D'Addabbo, who puts all the shelter's dogs on Petfinder, estimates that one of every 10 adoptions is initiated by the website.

"We get a lot of responses, mainly from people down in the Valley," she said. "They're the people who tend to look at it."

One contributing factor for the increase in animals at the shelter is that adoptions at the Four Peaks Petco have slowed. When the shelter first began taking animals to the store, on Shea Boulevard near Highway 87, as many as 12 animals were adopted in a single weekend.

"We are setting up inside (the store) instead of outside, so it hasn't been as good as before," D'Addabbo said.

But Stubbs suspects that the influx of animals is mostly due to the time of year.

"The mating season seems to run too long in Payson," she said. "We are getting kittens right up until Christmas."

The shelter is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday, and 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, call (928) 474-5590.

Other shelter events

  • The Payson Humane Society's annual chili supper, the biggest fund-raiser of the year, will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9, at the Elk's Lodge. The event also includes a silent auction, a hand-painted pot sale and a 50-50 raffle.

Prizes already donated include airline tickets to San Francisco, a golf package in Casa Grande, a mountain bike, dog and cat baskets, a Payson Athletic Club membership, a massage chaise, walking sticks, massages, haircuts, chiropractic adjustments, and miscellaneous other gift certificates for goods and services. To donate items, contact Terri DiPinto at (928) 468-8059.

Tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for children. In addition to chili, the menu includes macaroni and cheese, salad, rolls, cupcakes, and beverages.

  • The Payson Humane Society is holding an open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 13. The event is being held in conjunction with National Shelter Appreciation Week (Nov. 7-13).

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