Unleash the Dogs

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They're cute and furry, but finding homes is hard. Bay County's contract with the Lynn Haven Animal Shelter expires this month, and now the county is limited as to where the animals can go.

Mark Bowen with Bay County Emergency Control says there just isn't enough room.

"We've had to reduce the level of service based on the space issue we have."

So don't call Animal Control unless the animal is causing a threat to your safety. Those animals are taken to the Parkway Animal Hospital in Callaway and are being paid by the county, at least $18 per dog plus veterinary costs.

"These are animals that have bitten people. These are animals that have been aggressive. These are animals that have been hit by automobiles."

Michelle Noon, the executive director of the Humane Society of Bay County, says they do not take strays either, but owners can give up their pets at their facility and they are always looking for adopting families. They say if you already own a pet, there are ways to prevent them from becoming strays.

"The most important thing is to have identification on your animal, as simple as a rabies tag. If someone finds your animal they can look at the rabies tag, call the vet, find out who owns the animal."

Officials do warn against just dropping off an animal at any of these facilities after hours, saying they can press criminal charges besides putting the animal in danger.

The Humane Society of Bay County along with the Lynn Haven Animal Shelter will take owner give-ups for residents in each area.

If you're interested in fostering a pet for a couple weeks or a couple months, the Humane Society can answer your questions as well, and maybe you can decide if your family is really ready for a long-term pet.