Animal shelter at capacity with over 200 animals in foster

Drew Butler
The Daily Ardmoreite
Buddy is one of 105 dogs and 102 cats currently available for for adoption at the Ardmore Animal Shelter.

The Ardmore Animal Shelter is currently at capacity with 105 dogs and 102 cats available for adoption. In addition to those currently residing at the shelter there are also over 100 puppies and kittens currently in foster care until they are old enough to return to the shelter.

Executive Director Kasey Renteria said this has been one of the busiest summers she has seen during her 20 years with the shelter.

'It's been a horribly busy summer for us," she said. "During June we took in 847 animals which is more than any month since the summer of 2007. Typically we're able to stay somewhere around 500 to 600 a month, so it's been heart wrenching to see so many come through the door."

During the month of July the number of admissions dropped to 668, but with so many animals coming in, not all of them are able to walk out with new owners. Renteria said they have been forced to euthanize between 300 and 400 healthy animals simply to make space.

"The good news is we're also seeing more adoptions and we're sending out more for transport than ever before, but it's still not enough to offset the numbers that are coming in," she said.

Renteria said pet owners not spaying or neutering their animals is the biggest contributing factor to the massive influx of pets coming into the shelter. This is especially true with cats.

"We seem to have a lot of people who have let the cat.population at their homes get out of control," she said. "They'll start out with just one or two that they don't get spayed and that explodes to the point where they have 15 or 20 cats at one time. Then they'll drop most of them off here with us."

Another factor comes from people from outside the county — and even outside the state — bringing their animals to the Ardmore shelter.

"One of the big problems we're seeing now is since we're an open admission shelter we're seeing a lot of other places telling people to bring their animals here," Renteria said. "I've heard that some shelters even have notes on their doors telling people to come here. So that's something we're about to start working on. We're either going to have to raise our minimal intake fees or change our hours so that our people will have the time to input all the additional animals."