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Snake River Animal Shelter: Providing homes to our furry friends

During this recent quarantine, most of us have experienced feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and even fear. Some people deal with these feelings by contacting friends or family, going on walks, or maybe a little retail therapy. While these are all valid ways to help cope with these feelings, here at East Idaho Gems we discovered another way, adopting an animal that brings additional love and companionship into your home.

Snake River Animal Shelter (SRAS) is an animal shelter that offers second chances for animals in need, along with a variety of initiatives and programs made to increase adoption rates within our community.

What makes them different?

SRAS is located in Idaho Falls and opened its doors in 2015. They are the only non-profit animal sheltering facility that serves all of East Idaho, parts of Montana, Wyoming, and Northern Utah. This shelter was specifically designed to prevent the euthanasia of healthy animals. This means that any animal who comes into SRAS can stay there as long as necessary, though the goal is to get them into loving homes as quickly as possible.

Municipal shelters that are run by the city or county will often set a time frame on the animal’s length of stay and euthanize them after that point. Adoption could be postponed for many reasons such as behavior, illness, or lack of exposure. To combat these issues SRAS offers training, medical services, and partners with other shelters to exchange animals to ensure maximum exposure.

Along with exchanging, when there is a shortage of animals to serve in our region they will reach out to other shelters in Texas, Oklahoma, Nevada, and California to assist those states with overcrowding. Snake River Animal shelter is a true gem, assisting our community by providing animals all of the resources needed to arrive into a loving home.

“It’s our mission to improve and save animal lives by promoting quality care and compassion through adoption and humane education in the region,” according to SRAS’s website.

Initiatives and Programs

Idaho K-9 Academy

Snake River Animal Shelter recently launched a dog behavioral program called “Idaho K-9 Academy.” It involves services such as basic and behavioral training. This program serves shelter animals, owned dogs and veterans and individuals with disabilities. One exciting aspect of this program is the ability for dogs to serve those with PTSD or disabilities by offering ADA certified service dogs at a reasonable price. The goal of this program is to keep dogs out of the shelter and in loving homes. By completing this training, SRAS hopes to improve the understanding between pets and owners.

Home to Home

“Home to Home” is another program that was implemented to further enforce its mission statement to improve and save animal lives. This program was created to prevent animals from coming into the shelter environment. “Home to Home” is an online platform that allows local pet owners who are looking to rehome their pets to post the animal for other community members to see and potentially adopt.

Once you enter the relevant information into the website it will then automatically post to the SRAS Facebook page to reach people within the community who are looking to take in an animal. This program allows pets to transition from one loving home into another without having to enter the shelter. “Home to Home” reduces stress on the animals, leaves the shelter resources open to stray or abandoned pets, and allows the new owners to learn about the pet from the owner directly rather than from shelter employees.

If you want to find your pet a new home or if you are looking for a pet, check out their website

Catapalooza Fund

In our community specifically, cats have a much higher risk of euthanasia compared to dogs. Cats can reproduce up to three times in one year which can become a major issue when owners don’t spay or neuter their pets. To combat this issue, SRAS started an initiative called the “Catapalooza Fund” that helps lower the cost of adopting a cat.

To implement this initiative, they hold different campaigns throughout the year that allow potential adopters to get a cat at a discounted price. Some of these events have been “Cinco de Gato” and “Merry Catmas.” This program has helped to prevent cat euthanasia in our area and get these animals into a suitable home.

Looking to Adopt?

After learning about all of the great things that Snake River Animal Shelter has to offer, you may find yourself wanting to add a furry friend to your family. Most of us yearn for the companionship and love that an animal brings, but we need to be sure that our lifestyle is flexible enough to provide a pet everything that it needs.

Some things to consider before adopting:

  • Your work schedule
  • Pet allergies
  • Your other animals
  • Small children

Though most of us have been able to stay home in the last few months we need to consider if our normal work schedule is adaptable to an animal.

  • Dogs need to be taken to the bathroom every four hours and it is recommended that they go on walks twice a day. We can’t expect our pets to receive needed enrichment if they are in a kennel for 8-10 hours a day.
  • To be sure these needs are being met, consider if you can afford daycare or have an outdoor kennel system to give your animal the interaction that they need throughout the day.
  • You should also consider if there are any pet allergies within your family that would be bothered by bringing a pet into your home.
  • If you already have animals, you should also be aware that new animal introductions can be a process.
  • If you have small children, is your potential pet gentle and accommodating to a young child?

The Snake River Animal Shelter is a state of the art facility that does all it can to offer its animals a comfortable and wholesome environment. The ultimate goal of SRAS is to find a forever home for all of the animals in their care, so SRAS provides adoption counseling to help reach this end goal. The ideal would be for a family to review their lifestyle and capacity for care before they adopt, this will ensure they are ready to provide the care an animal needs and deserves.

Impact of COVID-19 on the shelter

During most emergency situations, shelters receive a large intake of animals, but because of the stay-at-home order, people have been at home loving their pets. Those who previously weren’t pet owners are also adopting pets.

At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, SRAS was closed for five weeks from the end of March and the entire month of April. During this time they only took new animals in and offered a few appointments a week to those looking to adopt. Once they received the news that they were considered an essential business towards the end of April, they then had to find access to personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks for their employees and customers. This proved to be quite a challenge as these products were in high demand, but four days after the announcement, they opened on April 28th. They are currently open to the public, no appointment needed.

This pandemic has caused much heartache and loss, but it has also helped people to realize the healing power and love that animals can bring into your home. Snake River Animal Shelter would like to thank the community for your continued support and help to provide loving homes for the animals.

To see current animals that are available for adoption check out their Facebook page

Check out Snake River Animal Shelter on Facebook!

Paige Rowland

About the author

Paige Rowland

Paige Rowland is originally from Arkansas and is currently completing her last semester at Brigham Young University-Idaho, where she will earn a bachelor's degree in marketing. She loves to hike, travel, and spend time with family. Paige loves to learn about local businesses and what they do to help the community in Eastern Idaho.

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