Humane Society of Greater Savannah changes in-take policy - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Humane Society of Greater Savannah changes in-take policy

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Thinking about dropping off that lost dog or cat you found to the Humane Society? 
You'd better call first. A new animal in-take policy is taking petfinders and upset animal owners by surprise.

On March 1, the Humane Society of Greater Savannah changed to an appointment only policy for anyone surrendering an animal to their facility, whether it was a lost dog or a dog who didn't fit into the household anymore.

In some cases, it was ok with unsuspecting visitors. In other cases, some where it was more emotional, the new policy ruffled feathers.

"Some people are just very emotional, and it's understandable and if it is a hard process and we try to get them in and out as quickly as possible," Guinn Friedman, Humane Society of Greater Savannah, told WTOC. "We still get as much information about the pet as we can, but if someone is angry at the animal for whatever reason, it is probably safer with us anyway."

They call it managed in-take, and Friedman says it helps them predict how many animals are coming in and how many are going out. Not knowing how many are coming in, like in the past, she says it made it hard to plan for space, staff, and care.

"Our goal is to never have to euthanize," Friedman said.

If there is space available, and an open appointment, people may not have to wait if they show up without an appointment. It may be just a few minutes. Usually, Friedman says, they can get you in the same day. However, it's not always the case. So you need to be patient.

"The whole purpose of the appointment is so we can get as much information about the animal as possible and get an educational background and discuss problems and actually in some cases people have chosen to keep the pet instead of surrendering it," she said.

They do an animal evaluation when they do the in-take telling the owners a very honest evaluation of what could happen to the animal if they are not able to place it and give them other options instead of turning the animal in to the Humane Society.

When summer hits, Friedman says, they get really busy. If people can hold on to pets for an extra week, she says their chances of getting adopted increase dramatically. 

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