Just imagine for a while an animal shelter running out of space because of animals being dumped/surrendered. Well, this was the story of Harris County Animal Shelter In Houston. On Tuesday, they had a massive influx of persons turning their pets in.
Reports showed that if you had gone in on Tuesday to surrender your pet, it could take you around 2 hours or more. It was definitely a sight to behold, seeing countless dogs and pet owners in the heat of the summer. A staff member spoke of the experience as being a hectic one.
“Some persons were seated on plastic chairs while others stood in the sun”, she noted. “It was also hot and the dogs were panting breathlessly”.
The shelter wrote on their Facebook page of the busy day they had.
“It took most persons up to a wait time of 2 1/2 hours. The influx of surrendered animals was more than we expected. We had so much to deal with as some persons waited while some didn’t. We even found a few abandoned in boxes outside while some were tied to a tree”.
There is a 2 1/2 hr wait today to surrender an animal at Harris County Animal Shelter. That is how many animals we are receiving! If people can’t wait or don’t want to wait they tying them up to a tree and leaving or abandoning them in a box in our parking lot. We are now at 534 animals in care! There are 5-6 animals to a kennel. We need your support to maintain a 90% lifesaving rate.Please adopt, foster or tag for rescue. Help us, help them.We are open weekdays from 1pm-5:30pm and weekends from 11am-4pm.If you are a Houston or Harris County resident and can foster for 2-3 weeks, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Harris County Animal Shelter on Tuesday, June 25, 2019
The shelter whose general maximum capacity is around 200, had about 530 at the end of the day. But what could be the cause of this?
After a careful assessment, it turned out there are many different reasons for the turnover of the animals. The most common was that ‘they could no longer afford’, the ‘landlord wasn’t allowing’ or other ‘lifestyle changes’. There is a capacity crisis at Harris County Animal Shelter and if something is not done quickly, it could end with disaster.
Another shelter spoke of the same ordeal as that of Harris’s…
This is the daily reality for us in Houston. Many people find our unwanted pet epidemic hard to grasp. This video will hopefully shed a little light on what we are dealing with. This man drug SIX dogs into the shelter with his TEN year old son, surrendering them because they were “moving”. All of which could have been avoided had their dog likely been spayed/neutered from the beginning. Responsible Pet Ownership and spay/neuter legislation MUST become a priority! Otherwise we will continue to fight a battle we will never win. #a536248 #a536250 #a536251 #a536252 #a536255 #a536256 **all but 2 have rescue holds. (A536248 & A536256 are still in need of help) A536248 http://petharbor.com/pet.asp?uaid=HRRS.A536248A536250 http://petharbor.com/pet.asp?uaid=HRRS.A536250A536251 http://petharbor.com/pet.asp?uaid=HRRS.A536251A536252 http://petharbor.com/pet.asp?uaid=HRRS.A536252A536255 http://petharbor.com/pet.asp?uaid=HRRS.A536255A536256 http://petharbor.com/pet.asp?uaid=HRRS.A536256Harris County Animal Shelter 612 Canino RoadHouston, Texas
Posted by Urgent Shelter Pets Houston on Wednesday, June 26, 2019
An Obligation To Accept And House
The director of the shelter, however, noted the willingness to keep the pups if they have to.
“If it means housing 5 or 6 animals in one kennel, we will do just that”, they reported.
The shelter has a 90 percent lifesaving rate and they have decided to keep that going. Because they are also a municipal animal shelter, they have the obligation to take in all animals surrendered to them. No matter the breed, size or health condition, they must do everything to ensure they are okay.
“Summer is quite a busy time for us when it comes on to surrendering pets. Not just because of the heat but also the breeding season in Texas”, Kerry McKeel, shelter spokesperson reported. “We sometimes even receive boxes of babies, abandoned in our parking lot.
Harris County Animal Shelter is drowning in high intake of owner surrenders and stray animals brought in from the community over the last week. There are currently 510 animals at our already overcrowded shelter, which can comfortably care for and house only 200.The shelter is out of space and asking for the community’s support in order to help sustain our 90 percent lifesaving rate.Here is how you can help: ADOPT: Harris County Animal Shelter is open weekdays 1pm-5:30pm for adoptions and weekends from 11am-4pm. FOSTER: Short-term foster for 2-3 weeks helps to free up kennel space. Shelter covers the medical care for foster animals and can provide supplies if needed. If you are a Houston or Harris County resident and able to help temporarily by opening your home to an animal, please email email@example.com or come by the shelter today.ANIMAL SURRENDERS: If you are planning to surrender your animal today or if you have found a stray, please consider letting us first vaccinate your animal, continue to hold the animal in your home for 3-5 days to maximize vaccine protection (and to help us make space). During that time look at Rehome a Pet for placing animal in a new home or bring the animal back to the shelter after the hold period to complete the surrender. KEEP PETS ON LEASH, IN HOME or ON YOUR PROPERTY: More than half of the animals at the shelter are stray. Less than 10 percent have identification (Tags or microchip) preventing the ability for the shelter with a way to reunite lost pets with owners.RESCUE: Approved rescues, please tag and immediately pick-up animals to make space.Thank you for your support. With your help, we can do more to help Harris County animals.KHOU 11 NewsFOX 26 Houstonabc13weather KTRK-TV Houston, TexasKPRC2 / Click2HoustonABC13 HoustonHouston Chronicle
Posted by Harris County Animal Shelter on Tuesday, June 25, 2019
The most depressing part of the surrender at times is the animals being dragged in against their will.
“We watch many heartbreaking goodbyes on a daily basis and the animals are often so confused”, McKeel noted.
“All of this can be avoided yearly if owners spay or neuter their pets from the get-go. The shelter notes they were bracing for another day of the same results or even worst. Because the following week will be a holiday week, they expect more animals to be coming in.
The shelter is urging many persons to help out where they can. If it is possible they can adopt or even foster a few animals for a couple of weeks, it would be nice. At least it would free up kennel space and saves lives.
Share this heartbreaking story so you can reach out to someone who might be interested to help. Also, if you feel touched and compelled, why not go on over and show some support.