Policy deterring animal surrenders in PBC

Posted at 7:28 PM, Jan 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-20 06:57:16-05

The connection between Caela Hayek and her pets is undeniable. Caela fosters more than half a dozen dogs.

Ideally it’s more than she’d like, but with local rescues at capacity, she says they dogs have no place to go.

“Everyone’s to the brim, I have seven and I’m one person with help,” Hayek said.

The Palm Beach County Animal shelter is also struggling for space. They’ve recently turned to a new policy, a 10 to 14 day grace period before anyone can surrender an unvaccinated animal.

“As a pet owner, they need to have that responsibility,” Director Dianne Sauve says the solution is twofold---it minimizes disease like kennel cough and forces people to think twice about surrending their animals.

“We have said to people, whatever you don’t want just drop it here, we’ll solve your problem. I think we have to get people to think about this.”

So far animal control says the policy is working.

In December, the first month the policy was in place, the shelter saw fewer dogs and cats dropped off than the same time last year. (83 dogs and 68 dogs less)

The shelter did see a few more stray dogs. (12 more)

We asked animal control if the policy may lead to more dog dumping, Sauve says there hasn’t been evidence of that. She also believes the policy should help, not hurt the rescues working with them.