PENDER COUNTY — The Pender County Animal Shelter had a busy and successful weekend after adopting out all of the animals in its care – but there is bad news too. The shelter is already on its way to full capacity again.
Thanks to a promotional event where adoption fees were waived for all adoptable pets, the shelter was able to adopt out about 70 animals. However, within a day, the shelter had 87 new animals, according to Jewell Horton, manager of the Pender County Animal Shelter.
“We are back up to 87 animals as of today … We did 52 adoptions Friday and about 20 on Saturday which left us with no available animals until this Friday. Sadly, for every animal leaving one is coming in,” Horton said.
The seemingly high number is actually business as usual for the shelter. According to Horton, there are about 100 enclosures for animals, and the shelter takes in about 85 pets each week.
“In June we took in 335 animals, so around 84 animals a week. We have right at 100 enclosures. So, as you can see that puts us running close on space, especially when you factor there where animals already here on June 1 and some animals stay with us for extended times such as bite quarantines and hard to adopt pets. 258 animals were adopted, reunited with their owners, transferred to other agencies or participated in the TNR program in June. That is a 77-percent live release rate, that is very good for an open admission shelter,” Horton said.
A seasonal influx
Summer temperatures tend to lead to more admissions at the animal shelter, Horton said. More puppies and kittens are born during the warmer months which leads to an influx in animals needing homes.
It’s not just strays that end up at the shelter though, owner surrenders account for a significant portion of the animals in the shelter, Horton said. Other factors also contribute to the higher rate of animals ending up in the shelter during summer.
“Also, vacationers, visiting families in the home, fireworks, vehicle accidents – these all lead to more animals getting loose. In June we had 68 owner surrenders (meaning they had proof they were turning in their own animal) and over 250 strays. Sadly only 19 animals were claimed by their owners – redemption rates are low despite over 13,000 followers on our Facebook page sharing our animals and being open to the public 7 days a week for people to come look for their pets. Responsible pet ownership would go such a long way in reducing these numbers,” Horton said.
If adopting is not a possibility for residents, Horton said there are always alternative ways to help the animals in need.
“Donations and sponsoring animals help tremendously. Sponsoring is where a person pays all or part of the adoption fee for an animal to help he/she find a home. We really push sponsoring for the adults and harder to place dogs and cats, hardly ever on purebreds and kittens/puppies,” she said.
At the end of the day, responsible pet ownership is one of the most important factors to help prevent an excess of homeless pets.
“Spay and Neuter, help your neighbors spay/neuter, microchip your pets. Accidents happen, collars come off, microchipping works great to get pets home,” Horton said.
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