July 06, 2010

Animal Shelters Full! Companion Animal Crisis Continues in San Diego!

From North County Times
REGION: Animal shelters full with little room for surrendered pets Adoption

prices cut as officials work to make more room By SARAH GORDON -

Posted: July 5, 2010 4:14 pm

North County animal shelters are brimming with cats and dogs, and two are
offering incentives to encourage people to give the pets a home. The shelters
are so full that few are taking animals surrendered by their owners. At the
Escondido Humane Society, all adoptions are half-price in the month of July,
said shelter spokeswoman Katie Woolsey. "We are very full ---- summertime is
our busiest time of year," Woolsey said. The shelter has kennels in hallways
and offices to make room for all its adoptable pets, which recently was 57
cats, 42 kittens, 64 dogs, one puppy and 42 rabbits. Woolsey said summer can
be the best time to take an animal home because kids are out of school and
parents are home more often. "It's kind of an ideal situation to bond with a
new pet and spend more time to allow it to adjust," she said. The Escondido
shelter, which has contracts with that city, Poway and San Marcos to provide
animal control services, is only taking in animals found stray in those
cities. It cannot accept owner-surrendered animals, Woolsey said. Anyone
seeking to surrender a pet will be given a list of rescue groups and other
shelters to try, she said. Woolsey suggests people find homes for animals
themselves, through friends or classified ads. "I know it's not the answer
everyone is looking for, but we're asking people to be pro-active," she said.
Candice Eley, a spokeswoman for the San Diego Humane Society North Campus in
Oceanside, said that shelter also is too full to accept owner-surrendered
pets right. This summer, the county has waived adoption fees for cats over
six months old and for any dog over age 5 or that has been at its Carlsbad,
Bonita and San Diego shelters for more than 30 days, said Animal Services
spokesman Dan DeSousa. And kittens are adopt one, adopt a second at half
price. "With kittens it's better to have two than just one," DeSousa said.
"It gives them someone to socialize with when you're not home." DeSousa said
it varies day-to-day whether the shelters can accept animals turned in by
owners in its service areas, which include Encinitas, Carlsbad and
unincorporated parts of the county. Sometimes there is more space after a
weekend, when most people tend to adopt animals. "Sometimes we'll tell people
'Give us two days and call then.' It's a very fluid situation," DeSousa said.
While the county and other shelters work with local rescue groups and foster
families to house adoptable animals, DeSousa said many of those groups
currently have as many animals as they can handle. So the most important
thing is to plan ahead if possible, he said. "We do know people are put in
situations sometimes where they cannot keep their animal," DeSousa said. "But
if someone knows they're moving out and have to give up a pet, we don't want
them coming on the 30th day of the month when there's no more time." Call
staff writer Sarah Gordon at 760-740-3517.

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