Capital Region

As eviction moratorium ends, Mohawk Hudson Humane Society offers assistance

AP Photo/Wilfredo LeeIn this April 6, 2013, photo, a puppy waiting to be adopted looks out of a pen during a pet adoption event in Miami.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

In this April 6, 2013, photo, a puppy waiting to be adopted looks out of a pen during a pet adoption event in Miami.

With the New York state’s eviction moratorium set to end Saturday, the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society is expanding services for the thousands of people and pets in the Capital Region that may be impacted.

Using data from the National Equity Atlas and Human Animal Support Services, MHHS estimates that in Schenectady County, 3,482 pets could be affected.

In Albany County, the number is even higher with an estimated 10,185 pets potentially impacted, along with 4,330 pets in Rensselaer County.

Evicted pet owners may have to move into temporary housing or into homes that may or may not accept pets. The MHHS shelter in Menands can hold around 300 animals and has a reliable group of volunteers who foster animals but an influx of thousands of pets would be overwhelming.

To help, MHHS is offering support packages to assist with everything from moving pets to rehoming them to working on behavioral issues. The shelter is also continuing to provide pet food and low-cost spay/neuter and vaccine services.

“We’ve been planning this for months just because as grateful as we have been that [the moratorium] has continued to get pushed back we knew eventually it was going to end up happening,” said Ashley Jeffrey Bouck, the chief executive officer of MHHS. “Over the past year, we’ve really been refining our Loved for Life programs in general just because it’s our goal to keep animals in loving homes.”

The Loved for Life programs include pet food pantries around the Capital Region as well as a Behavioral Helpline. Those looking for advice on any behavioral issues their pets are exhibiting can fill out a form on MHHS’ website and a staff member will get back to them within one to two days.

“We started our Behavior Helpline not even a year ago and anybody can utilize these resources. People don’t have to have adopted from us in order to use [it]. It can just be different tips and strategies for moving with a pet if you’ve never moved with a pet before,” Bouck said.

Recently, MHHS put together guides on how to move with pets and collected supplies that people might need.

“We actually rented a storage unit where we’ve been collecting different size crates and extra collars, leashes, litter boxes, litter and toys,” Bouck said.

For those who are evicted and can’t keep their pets, MHHS can guide people through finding the animals a new home.

“We’ve been looking into rehoming resources … if we’ve tried and exhausted every resource that we have [and] they really can’t take an animal with them then helping them be able to rehome their own pet so it would keep their animal out of the shelter environment as much as possible so reducing the stress for the animal,” Bouck said.

Some of the programs, like the pet food pantry and the Behavior Helpline, are available to families of all income levels. Others, like the spay/neuter programs, are geared towards low-income families.

“We just want to make sure this information gets out there so people will know there are options,” Bouck said.

For the full list of programs and guides to moving or rehoming a pet, visit mohawkhumane.org.

Categories: Fulton Montgomery Schoharie, News, Saratoga County, Schenectady County

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