COLUMBIA — It doesn't cost anything to safely put animals in the care of the Central Missouri Humane Society.
Instead of dropping an animal off anonymously or after business hours, the proper process, Shelter Relations Coordinator Allison Toth said, can take as little as a few minutes.
The shelter has been taking steps to make it easier for people to drop off animals that they find or cannot care for.
"We're an open door shelter," Toth said. "We will not make you feel guilty; we understand that life happens. We just want what's best for the animals."
These reminders come in light of a recent incident in which five border collie puppies were left on the doorstep of the humane society after hours. By the time volunteers arrived the next morning, four of five of the puppies had died. The fifth is currently alive and doing well in foster care.
Animals left at the humane society during the night are fairly common and it often happens on a weekly basis, Toth said.
She said when an animal is dropped off while they're open, a quick intake form is done on the animal. It varies depending on if the animal is a stray or owned. For strays, a basic breed and approximate age will be assessed and for owned animals, temperament and other details might be asked.
Those who find themselves in an emergency or have an animal to drop off when the shelter is closed, can call animal control at 449-1888. Animal control has access to the humane society's facilities after hours to admit an animal safely.
The Central Missouri Humane Society abolished the $20 fee they previously charged until about three or four months ago, Toth said.
She also said changing from having a fee to asking for a donation helped. Some people who dropped off animals could not afford the fee, but now, some others end up donating more than the $20 fee they used to require.
The Central Missouri Humane Society is temporarily located at Mid-City Lumber Co., 4709 Paris Rd., during renovations of their Big Bear Boulevard location. The shelter is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.