A second chance

Local animal shelters offer several options for adopting pets
Friday, August 22, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 9:54 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

After a short stay at the crowded Central Missouri Humane Society in Columbia, a shy 10-week-old kitten — black with white stripes — found a home Wednesday.

“We used to have three dogs and one cat. Now we wanted a kitten,” said Payge Pleimann, a junior at Hickman High School. Later, she named the kitty “Lady Binx.”

The adoption was also good news for the nonprofit organization because it meant another cage was ready to receive a new tenant. Spaces are hard to come by right now, as they usually are this time of year.

“We have a large influx of animals, beginning in late spring all the way through the summer and into early fall,” said Christa Stone, the humane society’s executive director.

Stone said animals can stay at the shelter as long as there is room. However, when crowding occurs, “we have to euthanize healthy, adoptable animals. It’s not anything that any of us wants to do, but it’s forced on us by irresponsible pet owners.”

On Wednesday, there were 70 dogs, 30 cats and a few rabbits at the shelter — and there was little room left for any newcomers. But they keep coming.

“My plea would be for those people who have animals and love those animals, maybe there is room for one more, because dogs and cats that are in multiple-pet homes don’t get as lonely,” Stone said.

Worse, the society is not alone. The Columbia Second Chance — a privately funded, volunteer animal-rescue organization dedicated to “seeking first-class homes for second-hand pets” — has used up almost all of its space, too. On Wednesday, it housed almost 150 neglected, abandoned or stray animals, including dogs, cats, kittens, puppies and a pair of bunnies.

“We are trying our best to accept animals. However, we are in desperate need of adopters,” said Kerri Duren, a Second Chance volunteer.

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