Once in a while, the Dubuque Regional Humane Society (DRHS) receives what we endearingly call "critters". These may include but are not limited to:
- Small mammals including hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, chinchillas, sugar gliders, ferrets, etc.
- Reptiles including non-venomous snakes, lizards, iguanas, turtles/tortoise, iguanas, etc.
- Birds including parrots, finches, canaries, parakeets, doves, ducks, chickens, etc.
- Other mammals including pot bellied pigs.
We are not able to accept the following animals at our shelter:
- Horses, cows, goats, and other animals deemed as livestock or otherwise not legal within city limits.
- Wildlife including but not limited to skunks, raccoons, wild rabbits, opossums, etc.
- Exotic animals including venomous snakes, prohibited reptiles, large cats, bears, monkeys, etc.
Critters come to our shelter for a variety of reasons. It is not often they need to be placed in a foster program, however, the following reasons may justify the need for foster care:
- Health/Medical rehabilitation
- Behavior modification (plucking feathers, self-destructive behaviors, etc.)
- Lack of room or adequate space/facility accommodations
Should a critter be placed in foster care, all supplies would be provided for the care of that specific animal including:
Cages, tanks/aquariums, heat lamps, food and food bowls, water bottles and dishes, bedding, hiding boxes, toys/chew blocks, and whatever else may be needed for that specific animal.
Unlike dogs and cats, we do not vaccinate critters or have a specific medical schedule or requirements. Therefore, it is especially important that our foster families keep a close eye on their health.
Health and medical things to keep an eye out for include but are not limited to:
- Labored or abnormal breathing
- Plucking feathers (could be mites or other health issues)
- Skin/fur abnormalities
- Difficulties shedding (reptiles)
- Abnormal feces, urine
- Eye discharge, redness, or other abnormalities
Should any health issues arise, it is the responsibility of the foster family to contact the Foster Coordinator and/or the DRHS veterinary staff as soon as possible so the medical needs can be addressed.