Humane Society shelter at full capacity for cats and dogs

There are currently 99 dogs, including 53 puppies and 46 adults, housed at the Cayman Islands Humane Society. - Photos: Spencer Fordin

There’s no more room at Cayman’s leading animal relief agency.

A representative for the Cayman Islands Humane Society said Wednesday that the shelter is currently housing 157 animals and that it does not have any more space to accept cats and dogs.

Jason Jairam, assistant shelter manager for the Humane Society, said the facility is currently holding 99 dogs (53 puppies and 46 adults) and 58 cats (40 kittens and 18 adults). There are even more animals currently staying with foster families, and Jairam said the shelter is frequently full.

“It usually happens around this time of year, from April to July. It’s the mating season,” he said. “It’s the cats and dogs season, as we say locally. We’ve done over 10,000 spay and neuter surgeries at the shelter – cats and dogs – and we work along with the community. Even though there’s a fee, we do it [for] free if you don’t have money, because we don’t want you to bring us seven puppies in a few weeks.”

The Humane Society provides veterinarian clinics on Monday, Tuesday and Friday, and people who make appointments can get spay and neutering and heartworm testing on those days.

Jairam said that despite the presence of several other animal relief agencies like Canine Friends, CARE and One Dog at a Time, there’s still an overabundance of animals that need homes.

“You’d think we’d have seen an improvement,” he said. “But sometimes, it’s even worse. If you go check the pound, they’re full up with dogs and puppies. We’ve been getting litter after litter.”

The Humane Society is urging local pet owners to make sure their animals are spayed and neutered.

The Humane Society has many people who volunteer to help take care of the animals or to give the dogs a walk on a weekly basis, but Jairam said it can always use more help. That help also comes in the form of foster families who open up their homes to dogs and cats on a temporary basis.

“We always need fosters,” he said. “Fosters play a vital role in the shelter and to help the animals socialise. If the animal’s had a rough life, fostering plays a role in making the animal more adoptable.

“When they come back to the shelter, they get adopted pretty fast because they’re house-trained and they’re good with kids. Even if people can’t commit to adopt, they can come in and foster. We get kittens that are a few days old and they need bottle-feeding for several weeks.”