Lowndes animal shelter full, urging residents to save animals
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) - The Humane Society of Valdosta says the Lowndes County Animal Shelter has reached full capacity and is urging community members to adopt immediately.
“Without an immediate flood of people to adopt these animals from the county shelter, we need to transport them in order to save them,” the Humane Society wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday.
Due to COVID-19, the Humane Society was shut down for about two months, and its spaying and neutering clinics were halted.
According to the animal advocates, the impact is now an influx of four-legged newborns, especially kittens. About 65 cats are currently housed at the Lowndes County Animal Shelter.
"When we reach a certain amount of cats, due to the amount of disease that can be brought in by the new cats coming in, we could break with disease, and that's never a good thing," Lowndes County Animal Services director Linda Patelski said.
She says they’ve also taken many animals from owners who have suddenly lost their jobs due to COVID-19. But now, space is limited.
“If we can get them out alive, it’s everybody’s goal for animals to leave here in good shape,” Patelski said.
The county shelter is teaming up with the Humane Society of Valdosta, a no-kill rescue organization, to transport the animals from the facility to other communities as an alternative to euthanization.
“We go down as far as Broward County (Florida), and we’ve been all the way up to Canada,” Julie Greenhaw, program coordinator with the Humane Society, said.
Greenhaw says last quarter, the non-profit's "out alive" rate was 81 percent, and they're hoping to reach at least 90 by 2025.
“It’s a better program for us to reduce the numbers in our rooms, just for the health of the animals,” Patelski added.
The next pet transport will cost $1,500, and they are asking for donations.
“We have located a rescue with loving adopters ready to take these animals, but we need your help to save them,” the Humane Society wrote on Facebook. “Every hour that we are short of our goal could result in lives lost when the county shelter is full.”
Even more, though, they're asking for community members to visit the county shelter and adopt. You can do so from noon to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
Due to the coronavirus, only one family is allowed inside the building at a time.
In order to help reduce the number of stray pets in the community, Patelski and Greenhaw both recommend having your pets spayed and neutered early. They suggest around four months of age.
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