Overcrowded animal shelters are a problem across the country and in our state. In fact, one facility in Waterbury recently saw the number of abandoned dogs double.
The Connecticut Humane Society in Newington said it’s a nationwide problem. Just this week, they took in five dogs from out of state.
“We’re helping a little bit more intake shelters from the south,” said CT Humane Society Executive Director James Bias.
Municipal animal control facilities are also feeling the pressure.
“Oh look are we a match?” said Rose Smith, playing a dog in need of a home. “I just want a little dog.”
We met Smith at an animal control facility in Waterbury, where he’s seeing a big increase in abandoned dogs.
“It’s more than normal. It’s about a 50 percent increase. It’s challenging,” said Lt. Ryan Bassett.
The facility usually houses 15 dogs at this time of year, but currently has 30 dogs, and the maximum capacity is 40, Bessett said.
Bassett said the facility is using their Facebook page as a tool to let families know which dogs are available for adoption. The facility will also increase adoption hours from two days a week to five in the new year.
“We hope to find good families who can take care of these animals,” Bessette said.
This is also the goal of the Connecticut Humane Society. About 40% of the animals they take in from animal control facilities are surrendered pets, Bias said. Meaning, their owners can no longer take care of them.
“Sometimes it’s because they’ve lost a job, or they can’t afford pet food or medical care,” Bias said.
He said one problem he sees is the long lag between when pets are surrendered and when they get a new home.
“She was originally found as a stray,” Byes said, holding Sally, one of their newest kittens. “Animal control was not able to locate the owner, so it was transferred to us from animal control.”
Sally has been at the Connecticut Humane Society since Dec. 6, according to her paperwork. She has a few more weeks until she is cleared for adoption.