After the recent story about a tiny puppy allegedly being tied in a garbage bag and thrown away in a Utica dumpster, we decided to find out the right way to surrender a pet you can no longer care for.

Some think you need to pay a fee to surrender your pet. That's not true. We spoke with Nicole Curley, Shelter Services Coordinator at Stevens-Swan Humane Society.

If you find yourself in a position where you can no longer take care of your pets properly, you can turn them into Stevens-Swan with no fee. They'll ask if you can make a small donation, but if you can't, it's ok, they'll still take the animal.

It's in the animals best interest for the owner to surrender the pet instead of claiming it's a stray. If the pet is turned in as a stray, then there's a mandatory 5 day 24 hour per day holding period. If the pet is turned in as a stray with a dog license tag, then the waiting period is increased 10 days 24 hour per day. During that holding period, Stevens-Swan can't give the animal any veterinary care if it's sick or start the adoption process because they don't own the pet. It's so much harder on the animal.

The bottom line is you can turn your pet in without paying a fee, and it's much better for the animal if the owner tells the truth. Stevens-Swan understands that most surrenders are out of the pet parents control, but there's no need to make it harder on the animal because of the fear of being judged or humiliated. That will not happen at the Stevens-Swans Humane Society.

Stevens-Swan Humane Society is located at 5664 Horatio Street, Utica. Phone (315) 738-4357 Tuesday - Friday 11 am - 5 pm or Saturday 11 am - 4 pm.


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