Written By Audrey Salazar
LCHS Volunteer Coordinator
In the past 6-12 months, the Lee County Humane Society has been inundated with an increasing
number of requests from pet owners who are seeking to surrender their animals. LCHS has been working tirelessly to accommodate the growing number of animals in our care, but with the increasing number of surrender requests from pet owners, we are finding it more and more
difficult to keep up with the demand for our services.
To address this issue, we want to highlight our intake diversion program, which assists animal owners in being able to keep and care for their pets. This program provides resources and support to pet owners, helping them find solutions to the challenges they face in caring for their animals. According to LCHS Shelter Director, T.J. McCullough, “Many reasons for surrender are things that dedication to the pets can be resolved and/or find a workable solution.” So, by providing this support, LCHS hopes to reduce the number of animals that are surrendered to their care, and ensure that pets can remain with their families where they belong.
But the intake diversion program can't succeed without the support of the community. The Lee County Humane Society is calling on community members to donate to the program, so that they can continue providing the best possible care for the animals in their care. Every donation, no matter how small, can make a difference in the life of an animal. You can find ways to donate by going to our website, leecountyhumane.org or by going into the shelter to donate in person!
However, we still see a significant number of owners who are not willing to accept the resources we offer, despite knowing that surrendering the animal may result in euthanasia due to space issues. “Most animals with behavioral issues can not be worked on in the shelter due staffing shortages and space constraints. We offer resources if adopters would contact us when the issues first arise,” says McCullough, encouraging pet owners to reach out for assistance promptly, rather than surrendering their pet.
The Lee County Humane Society is more than just a shelter – it is a community resource that is dedicated to promoting responsible pet ownership, educating the public about animal welfare issues, and advocating for the rights of animals. Joshua Mitchell, LCHS Heath and Intake Manager adds, “Surrenders should not be as common as they are. It can be disheartening when
there are simple solutions to the issues owners have. We want to be able to help care for strays
and reunite with their owners and assist the community with true animal welfare issues. The
constant influx of surrenders has hindered that in many ways.” With the support of the
community, LCHS can continue to provide these vital services, and work towards a brighter
future for the animals of Opelika and Auburn!