STANISLAUS COUNTY, Calif. — The Stanislaus Animal Services Agency says they have reached a crisis level of overcrowding.
The agency is putting out an urgent plea for help, asking people to either adopt or foster one of the more than 150 dogs currently in the shelter in order to free up some space and save lives.
When the pandemic first hit and most people were stuck working from home, the shelter for Stanislaus County could barely keep up with the demand of folks wanting to add a new four-legged friend to their families.
“We used to have people line up at 2 a.m. right here in front of our shelter to adopt," Annette Bedsworth, Executive Director for Stanislaus Animal Services, said.
But Bedsworth says things have since taken a serious turn.
“We have double filled kennels with dogs, that’s inappropriate, that’s not how we should be housing dogs," Bedsworth said. “People are frustrated, they’re angry at whatever is going on in their lives and they’re just dropping off our dogs in our parking lots and leaving before we can even get to them."
At last check, the shelter was 125 dogs over their capacity of 175. The majority of which being large dogs, with more than 80 German Shephard mixes available.
“We’re going to see a lot of kennel cough when you have this many animals being housed together," Bedsworth said.
Bedsworth says more than 90 percent of the dogs didn’t originally come from their shelter. She believes some people may have taken advantage of dogs, early on in the pandemic.
“I think people saw that as an opportunity to start breeding dogs and realized hey, it’s a lot of work and it’s not about the money, so now those dogs are here at the shelter," Bedsworth said.
Which is why they’re putting an urgent callout for help clearing the shelter from anyone who is ready to adopt or foster.
“There’s no issues with our dogs, they’re happy, they’re just wanting to go home and they deserve a life," Bedsworth said.
Because of the overcrowding, the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency is now offering adoptions of all of their big dogs for $22 each. That price includes all vaccinations, a microchip and they will be spayed or neutered.
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