PERRY TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) – The Columbiana County Humane Society doesn’t know what kind of situations workers will be called to each day, which is why they need many foster families. Unfortunately, they are lacking people willing to foster anything from household pets to livestock.
“It’s not something we really have a lot of planning for. By the time an animal gets here, they’re going to be in a lot of distress, so we need to be able to call, and it might be 11 at night and say ‘Hey, can you take some rabbits?'” said Marie Hernandez, the shelter manager,
The lack of foster families has been going on for a while, Hernandez and Erica Rice, the soon-to-be appointed humane agent, said.
They need families for all animals because some do better in a home-like setting. They also said the need for people willing to foster animals other than cats and dogs, like reptiles, is great.
“There’s no specialized training, but if someone doesn’t know how to take care of a reptile and would like to foster one, we can put them in contact with resources to do that,” Rice said.
Rice also said their work is important to humans as well.
“What people don’t realize is the direct coorelation between animal abuse and neglect, child abuse and neglect, elder abuse and neglect or domestic violence,” Rice said.
She added they’re mandatory reporters to both child and adult protective services as well, and that sometimes people will stay in an abusive relationship for fear of not being able to take their animals. To eliminate that concern, the humane society offers protective custody for those animals so that the affected person doesn’t lose them.
“We love to help people in many types of situations,” Hernandez said. “We are always willing to help and to help educate people. We’re always willing to give a little bit of training tips, we work with some trainers. No matter what the situation we are here to help.”
They are also in need of donations, especially aquariums, heat lamps, feeders and watering stations for chickens. Individuals that want to donate or become fosters can call the humane society at 234-575-7177.
Hernanadez also said they do what they can to help offset costs for foster families because they know animals such as horses and cows can be big undertaking for people.