The New WHS – New Adoption Living in Style

This post was submitted as part of the Pet ‘Net Adoption Event 2008 to heighten awareness about animal shelter adoption. Please visit your local shelter, or Human Society location and ADOPT A PET if you can. Your continued support is essential to enhancing the quality of life for all animals and there are several ways you can help, besides adoption, which includes donations, fostering, volunteering, etc. Here’s HOW YOU CAN HELP support my local Winnipeg Humane Society. Thank-You. // HART

* Reprinted from The WHS newsletter – Fall 2008

The new Winnipeg Humane Society shelter at 45 Hurst Way has many incredible new features the staff and volunteers are happy to brag about. Of all the new features, the adoption housing is one of the most exciting. The new accommodations are a far cry from those at the old shelter on Kent Street, and the improvement has not gone unnoticed by the people coming in to find a new friend and companion. In the old shelter the dogs were housed in long metal runs, exposed to the noise and hustle and bustle of the shelter and each other. “The old set up was especially upsetting for dogs who don’t get along with other dogs that well,” said Karen Young-Jamerson, Adoption Manager. “They were constantly facing each other, hearing each other bark, smelling each other’s smells. It was also very loud and distressing to the dogs that were new to the shelter environment.” Now the dogs in adoption have a much better deal.

They each have their own room with a bed. The sound levels are much lower allowing for a calmer atmosphere, and you will often find a dog fast asleep in the middle of the day. The big windows allow potential adopters to peer into the rooms without too much disruption, and the shelter isn’t drowning in the sound of dogs barking. The new set up was also designed to help disease control. “People used to be able to reach into the cages one after the other and touch the dogs,” Said Dr. Anseeuw, Director of Animal Health. “The new room system helps us better control how people interact with the dogs and is more conducive to hand washing between visits.”

The cats are also living the high life at the new Hurst Way shelter. Following the latest trends in animal welfare, The WHS has taken to group housing for many of our cats. The rooms, (called Cat Condos) are small and cozy, filled with structures to climb on, corners to hide in and lots of toys to keep busy. “Its great for the cats to have company,” said Young-Jamerson. “And the rooms give them more of a home environment. It is much better than the metal cages they used to be in.” Even cats who can’t be in group housing have a better situation. For cats who have been sick in the past or who don’t get along with other cats there are the cat rooms with individual housing. They get more natural light than they used to, and each “cage” has a little cubby the cats can hide in for privacy. “We used to have cats who would try to hide in their litter boxes,” said Chantal Young, Adoption Coordinator. “Now they have a little space to get into so they can feel secure, but we can still find them easily.” When cages aren’t full, the middle section can pop open so the cat can have the full run of both the top and bottom. “It’s a much better situation over all,” said Young-Jamerson.

And has the new digs affected the number of adoptions? “Our numbers are up from last year!” Said Young-Jamerson. “I am sure the welcoming atmosphere of our new shelter has helped.”

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