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Call for help from Nebraska Humane Society well received, NHS explores new partnership

Posted at 11:19 PM, Feb 20, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — "We have this constant inflow. So moving them out is something that we need to continue to do," said Pam Wiese, spokesperson, Nebraska Humane Society (NHS).

A big part of that is reconnecting owners with lost pets.

"The majority of the dogs coming in currently are strays and unfortunately the return-to-owner rate is not great. Last year I believe the return-to-owner (rate was) 20 percent of the strays that came in," Wiese said.

To do that, the Humane Society is partnering with 'Lost Pets of Omaha Area'.

"They are a fabulous Facebook group that gets people out and has hundreds of eyes across the community," Wiese said.

When a stray comes into NHS, they will work to get it up on that page to get more people to see it.

"More people saying 'Oh my gosh, isn't that the dog that was lost on 32nd and Ames?' And then messaging those people that put the post up and saying 'Hey isn't this your dog,'" Wiese said.

But Wiese said not all pets that come in, will go on that page.

"They still need to look on the lost pets website at NHS because everything that comes in automatically goes into that," Wiese said.

NHS hopes this partnership will make the return process quicker.

"By being able to partner with them we feel like we may cut down on the time that the animals are A lost, and B on those guys that actually have to come into the shelter," Wiese said.

But why are so many strays not claimed? NHS said it's hard to know. Wiese said many owners do come to the shelter to look, but others can't within the time constraints set by the city.

For Omaha, it is three days. For Sarpy County, it is five. After that, that dog can be put up for adoption.

Wiese added if your pet gets put up for adoption after that window and you can prove it previously belonged to you, they will do their best to get it back to you.

"I don't know if the economy is part of it. I don't know if, the fact that sometimes people are like this is the last straw 'He's jumped the fence 6 times,'" Wiese said.

Reclaiming comes with fees, "Douglas County and Omaha are more expensive than Sarpy County," Wiese said. Often making the process complicated, "It takes into account if a pet is fixed or not, and then for every 24-hour period it starts over with a boarding fee along with an out pound fee," she said.

But NHS said they are working on scholarships or grants to help with those costs.

"We are working hard to try to make it as easy as possible for people to reclaim their strays and also to adopt," Wiese said.

Over the weekend 33 dogs found permanent homes. To keep the momentum going for their over 120 dogs currently up for adoption, NHS is offering 'pick your price' for dogs over 40 pounds, through Saturday.

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