Every space and every cage is occupied at the Cayman Islands Humane Society.
The animal relief agency is currently far over its normal capacity and posted Wednesday on Facebook that it cannot open its doors to even one more wayward animal.
Saskia Salden, the director of the Humane Society, told the Cayman Compass on Thursday that there are currently 95 dogs at the facility, 45 of which are puppies. The normal capacity for dogs is 65.
Salden said that there are also 48 cats in the cat room, plus another 10 in quarantine.
“We need help,” said Salden. “We can’t do it on our own any more.”
The Humane Society’s post on Facebook said that nine new dogs have come in during the last three days, overstressing the relief agency’s ability to house and feed more animals.
The Humane Society has more than 30 cats that are currently being fostered, but it needs more help from the community.
“We go from crisis to crisis,” said Salden about the difficulties of running the shelter. “First, we had the parvovirus outbreak. Then we had a flood. Now we have an influx of puppies. We have kitten season which goes from March to September. We’re open 365 days a year. People bring us animals on Christmas and New Year’s. Even now that we said we’re closed, people still bring us animals.”
Salden said that the Humane Society cannot run without its stable of volunteers who donate their time and energy to improving the lives of the animals waiting to be adopted. But there’s still a need for people to open their homes to foster animals, or to come in and walk dogs during the week.
The agency’s adoption fee is $35 for cats and $150 for dogs, and Salden hopes that a wave of people will realise that they can make room in their lives for a pet or two.
“We need people to help us clear space. We cannot create space,” she said. “It will still be another two years before we can move into a new shelter. We need help until then. We have some day care and boarding facilities on island, but there aren’t enough. Just help us get these animals out. And if we know what these animals are like in a home, they’re easy to adopt. People like to know what an animal is like in a home, versus going stir-crazy here. They’re totally different here than they are in a home.”
Salden also said she hopes the government will make a greater push to enforce animal regulations that are on the books, and she hopes landlords will begin making Cayman a more pet-friendly place to live.
“A lot of landlords and strata aren’t pet-friendly,” said Salden. “They have a lot of stupid rules and regulations and restrictions. People want to help, but they can’t. When we had the flood, some people said they could only do one day because they were afraid that their landlord would find out.”