Animal shelters at max capacity as more dogs and cats keep coming in

“We are being inundated with cats and dogs in Catawba County.”
Catawba County took in more than 200 animals in the past week alone.
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 5:35 PM EDT
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NEWTON, N.C. (WBTV) - Local animal shelters say they are reaching the breaking point when it comes to how many dogs and cats are coming in the doors.

Catawba County Animal Services said they’ve been inundated with more than 200 animals in just the past week alone. And the problem seems to be getting worse.

“We’re walking a fine line right now,” Mark Pettit with Emergency Services said.

It’s a problem that’s overwhelming shelters all over the area.

“We are being inundated with cats and dogs in Catawba County” Animal Services manager Jenna Arsenaulet said.

Every cage, every crate filled with another animal without a home.

“We took in 100 animals in six days.” Arsenaulet said.

The situation is becoming dire. And it’s not just the Catawba shelter bursting at the seams. Several other counties said they all have the same problem.

Lincoln County said last week they adopted out 52 animals but took in 59 others.

“It’s kind of like an assembly line, you just have to keep moving as they come in,” Pettit said.

The reason why this is happening isn’t just a black and white issue, but one main reason stands out overall – it’s breeding season.

“Almost every cat that comes in, if it’s a female, is pregnant,” Arsenaulet said.

There’s a huge push from shelters to get these animals to new homes. Many around the area are offering reduced adoption fees to entice people to add to their families.

One dog at the shelter is named Banjo, or at least that’ll be his name if he’s lucky enough to get adopted.

“We were looking to finally adopt a dog,” Kinsey Rotherberger said. “I really want to come rescue, because I feel like all shelter dogs deserve a family they can love and cherish forever.”

Rothenberger is a student at UNC Wilmington. They recently lost their dog of 15 years, and decided now would be a good time to give the shelter a try.

Others are still waiting. Charlie, a boxer mix, has been at the shelter since last November. He’s still waiting, still hoping his new family will come down that isle someday.

When it comes to Charlie, the staff fell in love with him so much they are willing to pay the adoption price so you can take him home at no cost.

“Catawba County in general, every person in this building believes every adoptable pet should get help,” Arsenaulet said.

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