Humane society adoptions increase 70%

Lisa Depies

A record number of dogs and cats found homes in 2009. The Henry County Humane Society’s Geneseo Chapter had a 70 percent increase in adoptions over the previous year.

In 2009, 264 cats and 50 dogs were adopted compared to 146 cats and 39 dogs adopted in 2008.

Adoption numbers have steadily increased since humane society volunteers first started keeping records in 2005. In that year, 36 cats and 22 dogs were adopted.

“I think the open hours definitely help. People know they can come out there any day and take a look,” said humane society board president Karen Russell. The Henry County Humane Society, located at 14606 Roos Hill Road, is open from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The shelter is a no-kill facility.

“We try very hard to get our name out in the community and to be seen whenever we can,” said Russell.

Regular Pet of the Week features in the Republic, as well as pet features on also have increased adoptions, said Russell.

Though many of the adoptees are from Geneseo and Henry County, a large number are from the Quad Cities or further away.

“Because they see animals on, we have people come from all over. It’s surprising how far they come,” she said.

Once every two months, pets from the humane society in Geneseo are featured in-store at PetSmart in Davenport, Iowa.

“Because of that, we have a lot of animals adopted by people in the Iowa Quad Cities,” said Russell. As an added benefit, every animal adopted at PetSmart earns the humane society a donation from PetSmart.

Though animals were adopted in record numbers in 2009, Russell said she believes the 2008 numbers could have been much higher.

“We had an outbreak of ringworm that year, so we didn’t adopt out any animals for three months. If we hadn’t had that shut-down, I think the numbers would have been higher,”?she said.

Having 314 animals adopted in 2009 equals nearly an adoption a day.

“We get everything from first time adopters to people looking to replace pets that have died. We also have people who already have an animal and are looking for another,” said Russell.

Some of those adopting animals take home multiples. “That’s common with cats — especially kittens. If you’re adopting a kitten, it’s always better to have two so they can play with each other,” she said.

For the volunteer-run humane society, receiving feedback from happy pet owners is the best part of the job. “When we get e-mails from people saying how much their cat or dog has added to their family, it means so much,” she said. “The feedback from people who’ve adopted really keeps us going.

“These animals really don’t have any place else to go. They’re totally dependent on humans. And if we can give them the best care while they’re (at the shelter) and then find them a good home, that means the world to me,” said Russell.

For information on adopting an animal from the Henry County Humane?Society’s Geneseo Chapter, phone (309) 944-4868.