“The most defeated year”: rescues, shelters hitting capacity

Without fosters or adoptions, Garrard County Animal Shelter will have to euthanize

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Tuesday, the Garrard County Animal Shelter posted on Facebook that it was full and would have to schedule a euthanasia date. Unfortunately, the shelter says unless at least 5 dogs are adopted or fostered out, it will have to start putting some down early next week.

This issue is seen in rural shelters all across eastern Kentucky and as Paws 4 the Cause in Lexington says, rescuing these dogs isn’t a job for the faint of heart.

“We’re at it day and night,” says Anita Spreitzer, vice president of Paws 4 the Cause. “We’re doing the best we can.”

Emotions are high- frustration, desperation, empathy. The rescues and shelters in eastern Kentucky overwhelmed with the constant flow of animals, abandoned or surrendered on their doorsteps.

“This is probably the most defeated year we’ve had in rescue. It’s been a tough one,” says an emotional Spreitzer.

Paws 4 the Cause says it comes down to the mentality some people have towards their dogs and cats, seeing them more as livestock than family members. Other factors at play? Rising costs of living, people returning to the office and animals not getting spayed or neutered.

“It’s a perfect storm, that’s what we call it. And we can only save the ones we can,” says Spreitzer.

Garrard County Animal Shelter says throughout 2021, it took in 470 animals. Now, almost 8 months into 2022, the shelter has already brought in 455. The shelter says all of its puppy crates are full and it’s down to 5 out of 32 kennels with more dogs expected to be surrendered going into the weekend.

“Since I’ve been here, it’s not really been this bad before,” says Britany Fain, director of the Garrard County Animal Shelter. “This year alone, I think we’ve had to post Code Red three times already.”

Some rescues and shelters say they don’t expect it to get better anytime soon and without foster families or adoptions, more and more places are going to have to put animals down.

“August is going to be devastating for the animal community and the animal rescue world. We know it’s coming, there’s nothing we can do about it,” says Spreitzer.

Paws 4 the Cause says adopting or fostering from a rescue really saves two lives: the one you take home and the life that rescue is then able to take in from an overrun shelter.

For more information on how adopt or become a foster through Paws 4 the Cause, click on the link HERE.

To get in touch with the Garrard County Animal Shelter about adopting, fostering or making supply donations to the shelter, visit its Facebook page through the link HERE.

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