“Everyone was overwhelmed at first, but I think we have a plan in place, and now we’re in action mode,” McKeel said. “We’re trying to get as many of these animals into homes as possible, and give them a second chance.”
The Harris County Animal Shelter in Houston, Texas can comfortably house 150 homeless animal at their facility.
So they were shocked when about 100 animals were surrendered to their shelter within a few hours on Saturday.
They were even more shocked when 100 more abandoned and stray pets were dropped off the next day. The shelter was closed down on Monday because it was Memorial Day but even more pets were dropped off the very next day.
One poor dog was even abandoned in the parking lot.
The shelter ended up with 375 abandoned pets and a total of 407 for adoption.
“When I checked the very first thing this morning, we were at 407 animals that are available for adoption,” the shelter’s media specialist, Kerry McKeel, told The Dodo. “That’s not including all the animals we currently have in foster care or in our transport section [animals that will be moved to another adoption facility] of the shelter.”
They needed help… big time. So, the Harris County Animal Shelter decided to post a 10-minute video on Facebook.
It was basically a plea for help.
“Over the weekend, we had our highest intake of animals so far this year. We received almost 200 animals in just 3 days! Right now we have 375 animals available for adoption or foster. We need your HELP! If you have been thinking of adopting or fostering now is the time to take action,” their post read.
Over the weekend, we had our highest intake of animals so far this year. We received almost 200 animals in just 3 days! Right now we have 375 animals available for adoption or foster. We need your HELP! If you have been thinking of adopting or fostering now is the time to take action.To adopt, visit 612 Canino Rd. Houston, TX. View animals online at CountyPets.com. We are open weekdays from 1pm-5:30pm.To foster, email email@example.com.To rescue/transport, email firstname.lastname@example.orgWe appreciate every single SHARE of this video. It truly helps us to help these animals find homes.Harris County Animal Shelter Pets In NeedUrgent Shelter Pets HoustonFriends of CountyPetsHarris County Public Health
Posted by Harris County Animal Shelter on Tuesday, May 29, 2018
The video showed just how crowded their kennels and cages really were with two to three cats in a cage and three or four dogs to a kennel.
The shelter admits that summer is a busy season but they’ve never been that packed.
“Summertime is always busy in Texas, and Houston in particular; we always see our highest influx of animals in June, July and August,” McKeel said. “We have a longer breeding season, so we receive a lot of puppies, kittens and pregnant moms.”
McKeel thinks the influx of abandoned pets can be attributed to the areas slow recovery from Hurricane Harvey.
“Some of the feedback we’ve been getting is that people have had ‘lifestyle changes,’” McKeel said. “It’s hard to pinpoint it specifically being Harvey-related, but we do know that a lot of people’s lives have been flipped upside down because of Harvey — they’re moving into rental facilities where their landlords no longer allow pets, they’re moving out of town and can’t take their animal, they can’t board their animal because resources have to be diverted elsewhere.”
McKeel says that she hopes that if people can’t adopt, that they’ll consider fostering.
“Even fostering an animal for two weeks can make a lifesaving difference,” McKeel explained.
Right now they’re focusing on finding as many adoptive families as possible.
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