When we think of growth in the Treasure Valley, one of the last things that comes to mind is our pets. And has does the growth impact the operations of local animal shelters?
The Idaho Humane Society has a staff of over one hundred employees and more than five thousand volunteers. The shelter handles an average of over ten thousand animals a year. So you would think more dogs, more cats, more problems, but that's not necessarily the case if you to the folks at the Idaho Humane Society. Dr. Jeff Rosenthal, Chief Executive Officer for I.H.S. says look at the number. " Twenty years ago the Idaho Humane Society was handling about 16 thousand pets coming into our shelter and today we're handling just a little over nine thousand animals despite skyrocketing groups of people."
So the obvious question is why. Spokesperson Kristine Schellhaus explains. "You know our numbers are kind of decreasing in the Treasure Valley because we have such a high spay and neutered mentality and the folks that are moving into our area also carry that same mentality."
Now that doesn't mean our increased growth growth doesn't present some challenges, especially for pet owners looking for medical assistance for their pets. According to Rosenthal, "We may have a lot of jobs in the valley, but still many of those jobs don't pay enough to where an owner can afford medical care for their pets, pets in this country also have a health care crisis, just like we do."
But like most non profits, a good economy means more donors to help the program grow, and with a new medical center ready to open next year, the folks our here are hoping things stay as they are. And by the way, they have plenty of cute and lovable cats and dogs just waiting for a new home.