Crowded Shelter

Drew Butler
In the past week multiple litters of puppies have been brought to Ardmore Animal Care. The shelter took in over 100 animals in the week after Christmas.

Since December 26, Ardmore Animal Care has taken in over 100 animals, with 96 animals arriving between December 26 and December 30 — and they were closed one of those days.

Manager Amanda Dinwiddie said many of these are from people bringing in litters of puppies.

“It’s been predominantly litters of puppies, and what’s so crazy is this is not puppy season,” Dinwiddie said. “This is typically our low time of year, and normally our intakes slow down and we have lower numbers in our kennels but it has not slowed down at all. It’s like we’re in spring or summer.”

Scott Southerland, Ardmore Animal Care board president, said life in a shelter is particularly hard on puppies.

“Puppies do not do well in the shelter because their immune system isn’t great,” Southerland said. “There’s things floating in the air that they end up catching, and they do not do well. It would be nice if we could either get them all adopted or into a foster to build up their immune systems to get them stronger.”

Dinwiddie said both the Ardmore area and this region of the country in general see more puppies than other areas of the United States, which provides additional options for the shelter. They are currently looking for volunteers to transport puppies to other shelters in different states.

“We need volunteers to transport our dogs, so we can hopefully link up with shelters up north where they don’t have puppies like we do down here,” Dinwiddie said. “The more northern states have stricter laws so their overpopulation crisis is nothing compared to ours. They almost have a shortage of dogs in their shelters so they pull animals from down south.”

Dinwiddie said the best way to prevent pet overpopulation is to get pets spayed or neutered. The shelter will once again be opening their spay and neuter clinic on January 6. The cost for dogs is $55 and the cost for cats is $45. They also have a “spay the mom” program.

“People are able to bring in their entire litter of puppies or kittens to us, and they are placed up for adoption,” Dinwiddie said. “We in turn give them a voucher to get momma spayed to prevent her from having any more unwanted litters.”

Ardmore Animal Care is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Anyone interested in fostering a litter or helping transport animals to other shelters can contact the shelter at 580-223-7070.