It’s not raining cats and dogs at the Humane Educational Society and McKamey Animal Center – it’s just raining dogs. Lots and lots of dogs.
An overwhelming number of dogs have arrived at McKamey since the beginning of the year – 566 as of March 2. “Every kennel is full and they’re still coming in,” says Jamie McAloon, executive director of McKamey. “Last week, we took in over 200 animals.”
The situation is no different seven miles away at HES. Executive director Bob Citrullo says the shelter has taken in 586 homeless animals since the first of the year. “Out of these numbers, we’ve also seen an increase in special needs animals,” he says.
Two factors have contributed to the influx and high population at the two shelters, which house up to 800 animals daily. One is heavy and continual rainfall, which deters large dog adoptions and adds to their length of stay at the shelters.
Also, the number of neglect complaints increases during extreme weather, when many dogs are left outdoors without proper shelter. This leads to a spike in the number of dogs impounded due to poor living conditions or neglect – and has added to the overcrowding at both shelters.
According to staff members, the larger breed dogs are the hardest to place, yet they comprise the largest portion of the canine population at the shelter. As an incentive to adopt the larger breed dogs, the two shelters are combining forces to promote a discounted adoption fee on all dogs over six months of age and 25 pounds.
This offer does not include ambassador dogs or puppies at McKamey Animal Center.
In 2017, McKamey Animal Center took in 6,412 animals and the Humane Educational Society took in 5,036 animals.
Residents who want to help ease the overcrowding at their local animal shelter can adopt, volunteer, or donate money or enhancement treats such as chew toys, raw hides, cat treats and toys. Donations of dry and canned dog and cat food as well as kitten formula are also needed.
HES and McKamey are also looking for potential foster homes for the animals. Information: heschatt.org www.mckameyanimalcenter.org.