Some animals are dumped or abandoned by their owners.
Every effort is made to contact the owner. If there are no tags or microchips, the animal is impounded at PUPS. In 2013, the total consisted of 580 dogs, 354 cats, one rooster and one parrot.
Some years, there have been pigs, rabbits and a variety of pet birds.
About 60 percent of dogs and 10 percent of cats are claimed by their owners within the five-day period.
Cheney said staff sees a lot of terriers and beagles — known to be runners.
“I always laugh when people pick up their dog without a leash and say, ‘He will stay with me.’ I say, ‘Well then, why is he here?’ ” Cheney said.
If animals go unclaimed after the five-day holding period, PUPS staff members spring into action, evaluating their health and disposition.
They post photos and descriptions of the animals on social media and connect with rescue groups and humane societies, who find the animals new homes.
“They deserve all the credit,” Cheney said of other nonprofit rescue groups.
Small dogs are usually adopted out quickly.
Larger breeds, including pit bulls, take more work.
In 2013, PUPS had to euthanize only 10 animals; they either displayed dangerous behavior or were too ill to be adopted out.
PUPS often holds animals for a week to 10 days — far past the statutory requirement.
“We’ve always had an excellent working relationship with PUPS,” said Brooklyn Park Police Lt. Eric Nelson. “They’ve done an outstanding job taking care of the animals and getting them reunited with their owners or a new family.”
The cities fund PUPS through a joint operating agreement. Cheney said city councils are always excited and happy to see rising save rates and to pay for the extended stays that make that possible.
“Cities have felt it is a worthwhile expenditure of resources to give them time to attempt to locate owners or to find a new family for the animal,” Lt. Nelson said.