Aberdeen Area Humane Society proposes changes to animal ordinance

The greatest need for fostering that the shelter has is for cats, especially kittens.
Published: Oct. 28, 2022 at 4:21 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Aberdeen City Council discussed proposed changes to the animal ordinance at their meeting Monday night, and the changes could help the Aberdeen Area Humane Society foster out more pets in the community.

The current animal ordinance in Aberdeen states that residents can have up to four pet, but a maximum of three dogs. The Aberdeen Area Humane Society worked with city staff to propose a change that would allow for residents to exceed that limit if they are fostering animals for the shelter.

”Having the ability to have other households that can take in these pets, that are already at limit for their personal pets and they want to help out, it’s going to help out immensely for the current fosters and for the shelter in general as well,” said Elaine Schaible, shelter manager for the Aberdeen Area Humane Society.

The greatest need for fostering that the shelter has is for cats, especially kittens.

“We foster out mostly kittens, so when our fosters are full, we don’t want to mix and match litters of kittens to make sure we’re not spreading illness or anything like that. So, when they’re full, they’re full. We have to think, ‘Oh gosh, where are we going to put this and where are we going to put this?’” said Schaible.

Placing kittens in foster homes also gives the shelter a better sense of what kind of pet they would make once they are adopted.

“Putting them into a home situation, we get to know what their like in a household. Are they the type of cat that jumps on counters? Are they the type of cat that is going to be racing through the house in the middle of the night? Things like that are important to people who are trying to adopt, and when they’re here at the shelter, we don’t always know how they’re going to act in a home,” said Schaible.

Councilwoman Tiffany Langer said the need for the change is clear.

”The discussions that we’re having with the Humane Society were really informative and had really strong numbers about why somebody who already has animals makes a great foster, and as long as we know it’s a temporary situation, it’s very much made clear to them the need was there and we should look at it,” said Langer.

If the ordinance does change, the city and the Humane Society will work together to set conditions.

”We’re still hashing out the details of the specifics of how many you can have and how long you have them. For the most part, it’s going to be very simple. We’re not going to try to have somebody have 10 extra cats in their household,” said Schaible.

Most importantly, the ordinance change could free up space the Aberdeen Area Humane Society needs.

“Even if we’re just sending one over the limit, it’s going to help us clear out the shelter so we can take in some of the more needy ones,” said Schaible.

The second reading of the proposed animal ordinance changes will take place at the Aberdeen City Council meeting on November 7th.

To find out how to foster for the Aberdeen Area Humane Society, call 605-226-1200 or email info@anewleashonlife.net for more information.