Humane Society at capacity for cats after cold conditions

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Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 4:52 PM CST
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Aberdeen Area Humane Society says they’ve seen an uptick in surrenders during the colder months of the year, especially with cats.

Staff say they are at capacity for cats. This is partially due to an increase of surrenders they see in the colder months of cats who live outside, but are brought in by concerned citizens when temperatures drop.

“We see a different type of surrender,” said Elaine Schaible, the Aberdeen Area Humane Society Shelter Manager. “We see more adult cats this time of year, you know, ‘Oh I’ve been taking care of this cat all summer, and now it’s getting cold so I’d really like to bring him in.’”

Shelter staff say although they appreciate citizens concerned about cats, some cats prefer to live outside. Even in cold temperatures, some cats can survive as long as they have access to food, water, and shelter.

“What it comes down to for cats that are outside this time of year, you want them to have somewhere they can get up that’s a little bit warmer, not in the snow,” said Schaible. “If you’re building them a little outdoor shelter, you’re going to want to use straw, not hay and not blankets. You want it open-sided so that they can go in and out easily, but you want it turned away from the wind.”

The city recently approved a change to Aberdeen’s animal ordinances, which will allow for more fostering opportunities that could clear up room in the shelter for animals that urgently need medical attention. The new ordinances are set to go into effect after the new year.