The Humane Society has temporarily closed its doors with some dogs facing certain death unless new homes are found.
The society says it can not accept any more dogs until more space becomes available.
As of Friday there were 55 abandoned puppies and 47 dogs all in need of a new home. The facility was built to hold a maximum of 40 puppies and 31 dogs – a total of 71, not the current 102.
‘We are overloaded. It’s as simple as that,’ said Carolyn Parker, Humane Society president. ‘It has reached a point where we simply can’t cope.
‘People keep bringing in more and more unwanted animals and we have reached a point where we can only accept more dogs when space becomes available.’
Animals can stay at the Humane Society for an unspecified amount of time. However, the shelter does not have a no kill policy, and at times some have to be put down.
‘It has reached that point when some dogs will have to be put down. It is not an easy decision, but the reality is that with this number we can’t function. We try to give every one a fighting chance, but there comes a point when we have to be realistic.’
Ms Parker said overcrowded has a negative effect on the behaviour and health of the animals.
‘We currently have up to four in a kennel. Some are turning in circles and pacing up and down; a clear sign of kennel stress. Others are not eating or are showing signs of aggressive behaviour. Medical problems have also been exasperated.’
Since the beginning of the year, 269 dogs have been taken in by the Humane Society. There have been 97 adoptions and 47 have been euthanized.
The shelter’s Broward Programme has helped alleviate the problem of overcrowding in the past. Already this year 120 puppies have been shipped to a shelter in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, that will take them up to six months old. But now that shelter is full.
. ‘We have contacted a number of other shelters in Florida, but it seems everyone is full. We have now even expanded our search to Toronto,’ she said. ‘We have found a shelter that is willing to take four puppies at a time, but it is a lot more expensive, $500 per puppy compared to $60 to send to Florida.’
She added: ‘We are doing everything we can, but under the current situation we shall have to euthanize a number of animals. We do it when we don’t have a choice.’
The Humane Society offers a financially assisted spay and neuter programme and Parvo clinic. For information on adopting a new pet or becoming a volunteer dog walker call the Humane Society on 949-1461.