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Houston Animal Shelter Has Too Many Pets Being Dropped Off
They deserve better!
Alissa Gaskell
07.24.19

Pet ownership entails quite a number of responsibilities. After all, pets aren’t accessories you can exchange or leave anytime you want. As animals fully dependent on our care, it’s our job to make sure they are well-fed, trained, clean, and healthy. Sadly, that isn’t always the case. Some people adopt pets on impulse, which often stems from the notion that taking care of pets is “easy” and that “there isn’t much to it.” When these people discover how challenging it can be and how important consistency and discipline is, they immediately try to back out of the responsibility by looking for new owners for the pet or worse, leaving it in a box, on someone’s doorstep, or tied to a tree.

Fortunately, there are kind-hearted people who come to the rescue of these animals. When they come across abandoned pets, they take it upon themselves to ensure the animals’ safety by adopting or by bringing them to the nearest animal shelter. The case of abandoned pets in Texas has increased significantly that one shelter can’t keep up anymore.

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One Tuesday afternoon at the Harris County Animal Shelter in Houston, Texas, the line grew so long that there was a two and a half-hour wait for surrendering pets. The line stretched all the way to the parking lot, with dogs panting in the scorching summer heat.

The maximum capacity for rescued animals in the shelter is at a maximum of 200, but because of the increasing number of pet abandonment and pet rescue cases, the shelter now houses more than 500 animals. These numbers greatly affect storage, supplies, and health which is why the Harris County Animal Shelter took to Facebook to share their current situation with the public.

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”Facebook”
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”Facebook”

In their goal to find a good home for rescued pets, the staff frequently organize free adoption events. To make it easy for potential pet owners, they often advertise their own free app called Qless which can help potential pet owners reserve adoption spots.

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The shelter’s spokesperson, Kerry McKeel, shares, “We currently have been hovering around 500 animals at any given time since the beginning of summer. It is a capacity crisis for Harris County Animal Shelter.”

The reasons for dropping a pet off at a shelter may vary but most are quite saddening and sometimes suspected as excuses for not wanting the responsibilities of pet ownership: lifestyle changes, compliance with residential areas’ rules, or simply not wanting a pet anymore.

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Abandonment isn’t always the case, though. At certain times of the year, an influx of kittens and puppies are received. Mating season is the main reason. Despite struggling to keep up with the rising number of pets being surrendered to their care, the shelter is determined to keep it a safe haven for the animals and maintain their life saving rate.

The staff may be used to heartbreaking moments between animals and pet owners (children who have no choice but to leave their pets because of a move, allergies, etc.) by now but it’s the distress and confusion in the pets’ eyes that still affect them greatly. Following the days when the shelter needs to close (for holidays that stretch out to a week) is an overwhelming influx of pets being brought in.

The shelter continues to seek help from the local community by asking them to adopt dogs or cats in need. Spokesperson McKeel also encourages pet owners to be more responsible and diligent by keeping their pets safe at home, buying identification tags, and committing to really taking care of them.

CountyPets.com
Source:
CountyPets.com

In your own small way, you can help find good homes for the abandoned animals and support the shelter by clicking here.

These sweet kitties are in urgent need of fosters for just 2 weeks. We can provide you with supplies, you just provide the TLC. At the end of two weeks they will be placed for adoption at the upcoming Houston Super Adoption event, June 22-23 at NRG arena. You could be their lifesaving link to a permanent home—to help them today, please email foster@phs.hctx.net.#foster#NationalAdoptAShelterCatMonth

Posted by Harris County Animal Shelter on Wednesday, June 5, 2019

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By Alissa Gaskell
hi@sbly.com
Alissa Gaskell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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