Animals at the New Hampton City Pound used to have just seven days. That's until members of the Chickasaw County S.N.A.P. Program offered to take over.
"We went to the council and asked would you be willing to extend that to 21 days if we were willing to take care of the dogs, they agreed. That gives us plenty of time to first hope the owner shows up, then we go into the mode of getting these dogs adopted, if that doesn't work third we go outside Chickasaw County looking for a home," said Gayla Hugeback.
S.N.A.P. was started several years ago by Jill Connell, but she moved to Charles City to start another program, so Gayla Hugeback and Paula Nicolaisen took the reigns, with the help of volunteers.
"Come out daily get the dogs fed and walked, clean out the kennels and give them some human contact," said Paula Nicolaisen.
S.N.A.P. provides food, medical care and any other needs to the animals. But mostly importantly, the chance to find a forever home.
"They've done an exceptional job. They're out here taking care, cleaning, washing down, making sure the dogs are walked and are fed. They've done a wonderful job as an organization," said Jerry Heying with the City of New Hampton.
Besides taking care of the animals who end up at the pound, education is also key.
S.N.A.P.stands for Spay and Neuter All Pets, so Gayla and Paula spend time educating groups and schools in Chickasaw County.
"From what we realize, one cat in seven years can reproduce 420,000 cats, and for a dog, in six years I believe it's around 65,000," said Hugeback.
S.N.A.P. accepts any dog found in Chickasaw County and while they don't take cats at the shelter, they can offer some help in finding good homes.
The New Hampton pound takes in about 60 dogs a year. The adoption fee is just $15.
S.N.A.P. uses an e-mail list and facebook to let people know which animals arrive at the shelter and which animals need homes as soon as possible.
"We're giving these dogs chances, and by giving these dogs a chance to a better life, that's priceless," said Gayla Hugeback.
Reporter: Danielle Wagner