Central Nebraska Humane Society at Capacity - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Central Nebraska Humane Society at Capacity

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The Central Nebraska Humane Society has had its hands full lately -- fighting for tougher laws and dealing with a number of high-profile animal incidents. But they also have a shelter that's at capacity.  

"I need a dog more than a man," Edna Craven said with a laugh.  

She has a home full of love but no one to share it with after putting down her dog that had been her companion the past nine years.

She said, "I lost my husband two years ago, and lost her now, so I'm completely alone and I can't stand that."  

The Central Nebraska Humane Society has plenty of pets to pick from. The shelter is at capacity after rescuing 14 shih–tzus, Pomeranians, and Yorkies from a puppy mill.  

Executive Director Laurie Dethloff said, "They were in relatively tough shape, we've had to do bladder surgery, teeth extractions because infections were so bad."  

Those dogs aren't ready to be adopted, but plenty of others are.  

"We have all sizes, shapes, and varieties," Dethloff said.

So far this year, they've adopted 300 cats and dogs, even more than the 252 at this point last year.

"Record numbers set last year, we're on another record setting pace this year," Dethloff said. "We're just excited to see people take adoption seriously and get animals to good homes."

They've got animals everywhere, even in employee bathrooms. It costs $800 a day to run the shelter, but they also need volunteers and supplies.

Dethloff said, "Cash always helps but we put a plea out for bleach and we got a wonderful stash."

They euthanize only a fraction of what they once did, only the animals they say have a severe illness or behavioral problems. 

The staff asks folks to steer clear of backyard breeders.  

"Choose to adopt and not shop. We need those animals out of those situations," Dethloff said.

Walking dogs on the first day of spring, Edna hopes she'll find one soon she can bring home.  

"Something small I can handle, and lovable," she said.

If anyone is thinking of surrendering an animal, they ask you wait a few weeks until the shelter has more room.

They hope to be busy in the coming days, and expect many families to be out this weekend adopting.

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