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Humane Society of North Iowa seeing an increase in strays
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Humane Society of North Iowa seeing an increase in strays


Maximum capacity for cats at the North Iowa Humane Society ranges from 60 to 75 according to Executive Director Sybil Soukup. At present, she said they have 60 cats.

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North Iowa Humane Society's Shaggy the Cat is bonded to his brother Scrappy, and the pair will need to be adopted together.

According to Soukup, one culprit for the sudden influx could well be a shift in the seasons. 

"The warmer weather and maybe people have their storm doors and screen doors open," she said. "Maybe people are out with their dogs for walks and they’re getting away. It’s that time of year where everyone is out and about."

In the spring and summer, Soukup said, is when more stray dogs will show up. Currently, she said that there are 20 dogs with the Humane Society. Stray cats tend to arrive more in the fall. 

When an animal comes in, Soukup said that it's taken out to the Mason City Animal Shelter, which works in conjunction with the Humane Society.

From there, it's assessed for injuries, illnesses and microchips which can be matched against missing animal reports. 

"If the animal doesn’t have the microchip, there’s a fee of $30 to have the microchip put in," she said. Fees for rabies vaccinations run $45. 

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Per a posting from the Mason City Animal Shelter, all dogs and cats over the age of six months need to have current rabies shots and a city license which can help when an animal goes missing. "An owner has seven days to reclaim an impounded pet and the following must be provided: valid proof of ownership, a current rabies vaccine, city license and a microchip," the release stated.

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North Iowa Humane Society's Bruiser the Dog is a very good boy who is shy but very sweet.

As Soukup put it: "We do everything possible to contact the owner."

Recently, that effort has lead to a strong reclaim rate. "In just this past week, we've had 12 stray animal reclaims...which is a lot. Normally, we average about 3 per week," Soukup wrote via Facebook. 

After the seven days have passed, Soukup said that the Humane Society will list an animal on its website. If someone doesn't want to adopt an animal, she said there are other ways for residents to help. 

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North Iowa Humane Society's Ruthie the Dog is a very good girl. She is happy and playful and loves her treats.

"(We are) absolutely in need of volunteers to come out and socialize with dogs, spend time with cats. Provide a lap for a cat to come and sit in," she said. "Spending time and volunteering is helpful... The pandemic has changed a lot of things, but it hasn’t changed the plight of stray animals."

A number of cats and dogs are available for adoption at North Iowa Humane Society in Mason City.

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Jared McNett covers local government for the Globe Gazette. You can reach him at or by phone at 641-421-0527. Follow Jared on Twitter at @TwoHeadedBoy98.


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