Humane Society works hard to place pets with forever families

By Erica Quednau |

Published 12/02 2013 12:06PM

Updated 12/03 2013 10:17AM

URBANA -- Everyday millions of pets are looking for their happy ever after; a home, after living in a shelter. But how do you make sure it lasts? The Champaign County Humane Society works hard to pair the right pet with the right owner, but as WCIA-3's Erica Quednau reports, the process isn't perfect. 

Life behind bars. It is a thought that seems scary to you and me, but for animals at the Humane Society, it's how they live.  

"I always wonder what they're thinking," said Danielle Bender, Volunteer Coordinator and Animal Behavior Specialist at CCHS.  

They house about 150 pets at a time. Many people think they end up here because they are broken or bad, but that's not the case. 

"One of our number one reasons for people to bring us their animals is because of move or landlord issues so that is no fault of the dog or the cat," said Bender. 

Last year more than 1,500 were brought in for reasons like that and now they are just looking for a home. 

"We kind of let him pick us out. He came up to the cage and started licking our hands and that was it. We were ready to rock and roll," said Tim Baker. 

He gave Beaufort, a boxer mix, that chance. 

"I think he's ready. I think he's ready to be home," said Baker. 

But that was three weeks ago. Today, his house is empty again.

"It's unfortunate that it didn't work out," said Baker. 

He brought Beaufort back to the Humane Society. 

"He was a good dog, he was just crazy. I mean, that's the only way I can put it," said Baker. 

"These things happen," said Bender. 

Last year 8% of adopted animals were returned. 

"They also thought of Beaufort's well-being too and they knew that he would do better in a home where people have the time to train and really interact with him more appropriately," said Bender. 

Bender adds more animals are returned because of what they call a "bad match."

"It happens in shelters everywhere. For whatever reason, it's a bad match or maybe people don't necessarily bond with the animal," said Bender. 

"It's like a marriage, if it's not the right two partners, it's not going to work out and that's the situation we found ourselves in," said Baker. 

It is something the Humane Society does its best to control through evaluations and tests. 

"That is why when people do bring us their animals, we do have them fill out kind of a lengthy questionnaire on how they were in the home," said Bender. 

"It's a good program and I appreciate the fact that they do go through the trouble they do with these animals to make sure they get a good home," said Baker. 

But some cases don't fit the mold. 

"Beaufort's kind of a special case. He was a transfer from animal control so we didn't have any previous history on him or how he behaved in a home," said Bender. 

Until now. 

"He was just too energetic. He needed a young family with preferably some young children, somebody to wear him out and I'm too old for him. I couldn't wear him out," said Baker. 

"Knowing that piece of information now is really helpful for us and now our adoption and staff in general, we can make a better match for him," said Bender. 

Which makes the entire process, ups and downs included, worth it. 

"If you decide to get into this process, don't give up. Our deal with him was just a fluke. The right animal's there, you just have to find it and I'm sure and I hope that somebody gives Beaufort a good home because he really is a good dog," said Baker. 

To learn more about adopting Beaufort or any of the other animals at the Champaign County Humane Society, click here

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