01 August 2011

Poor economy causes struggles for animal shelters across the U.S.

Across the country, animal shelters are struggling with the poor economy:

Kingsport, TN— Regina Isenberg, founder of the Bridge Home No-Kill Shelter, said: "We just don't have the room for them, and we end up having to take them to the county shelter, and they have their space issues, too. In the long run, they are going to be put down, and that is sad."

St. Augustine, FL
Animal Control Division Chief Paul Studivant told Historic City News that St. Johns County Animal Control Pet Center is "inundated" with pets owners can no longer afford the price. "It’s due to the economy and unemployment," Studivant said. "We're hearing every story you could possibly hear." St. Johns has received 285 more animals in a period from Jan-July 2011 than that same period in Jan-July 2010.

Santa Cruz, CA
According to Mercury News, the Santa Cruz Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals "currently houses 92 dogs and cats, and they are utilizing their space to the fullest, with carriers lining the walls of the shelter. They have a maximum capacity of 70, but are able to accommodate the rest of the animals through Bed and Biscuits, a nearby pet resort. This is a 49 percent increase in animals from last year, according to Lisa Carter, executive director of the Santa Cruz SPCA."

New Haven, CT— "I have said I would never euthanize an adoptable dog," said Stephani Johnson, a police officer who runs the 62-kennel animal shelter. "I still won't. But I'm getting to the point that I'm going to have to set up crates in the hallways." As reported by the Middletown Press: "The index card on one dog's pen tells a story: Cookie, one of the shelter's many pit bills, is a “lovable dog” who likes to “run, play and cuddle.” She was given up because her owner lost her job and home." The shelter generally averages around 60 adoptions a month, but recently, that number has dropped to perhaps 35.

Westbrook, ME
The Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland took in 136 animals within the first ten days of July, 2011. As of 7/14, they had 450 total.

Woodhaven, MI
The Trenton-Woodhaven Animal Shelter has an abundance of cats and kittens. It also needs food and litter.

Tahlequah, OK
Rachel Ranallo, secretary of the Humane Society of Cherokee County, saidshe averages "15 to 20 calls every day; half are about abandoned or stray animals. We don’t have the resources to keep up with the need." Some volunteers keep the overflow at their homes.
Please consider visiting your local animal shelter(s) before adopting a pet.

Jonathan Reynolds
Jonathan is a freelance writer and blogger residing in upstate New York.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/crumley