Animal Shelter Stays at Capacity
Six of the eight puppies and their mother that were found under a demolished home have been "spoken for."
But as of early this week, two male pit bull puppies were still available at the Moore County Animal Shelter.
"Too many," said Al Carter, county animal control director, when asked how many other dogs and cats remain available for adoption.
The two remaining puppies are among a minimum of 100 dogs and cats that keep the shelter filled to capacity on a daily basis.
The eight puppies were rescued from the basement of a demolished house two weeks ago and the parent dogs were lured into traps a few days after the rescue. Members of the Pinecrest High School track team were on a practice run behind the house when they heard the barks and summoned help for the canine family trapped inside the basement.
Apparently the wrecking crew, in razing the building, had sealed the opening the dogs had been using to emerge for food and water.
Owners of the dogs have not claimed them, and the dogs will be available for adoption as soon as the weaning period ends in four weeks.
Because of publicity surrounding their rescue, a surge of interest generated early adoptions for the pit bull puppies.
The sad thing, however, is that they are just a few of the hundreds of dogs and cats brought to the shelter on a weekly basis, according to Carter. He said the shelter had a litter of "cute beagle puppies" at the same time.
"Due to the economy, we're getting more owner-surrendered dogs than ever," Carter said Monday.
Carter says the number of dogs surrendered to the shelter by owners has increased 30 percent this quarter, as compared with the previous quarter. This percentage does not include animals surrendered because the owner is a soldier facing deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan.
"We've always had deployments," he said.
Although the Moore County shelter ranks as the third best public shelter for adoptions in North Carolina, the rate of adoptions is only 30 percent, Carter said. That means that euthanasia is in the future for 60 percent.
The shelter has a capacity of 100 animals, with space for 60 dogs and 40 cats. When that capacity is exceeded, some of the animals must be euthanized.
Adoptions are also facilitated by nonprofit organizations, including the Humane Society, Animal Advocates and The Haven, a no-kill shelter in Hoke County.
Carter said the problem with excess pets is acute throughout the state, a situation that has worsened in the past year because of the economic slump causing many people to lose their jobs. The more responsible residents bring their pets to the public shelter or one of the other organizations, but many just abandon the animals to fend for themselves.
Stray animals picked up by Animal Control officers are held for a prescribed period, giving owners time to claim them if they wandered away from home and became lost. If not claimed within that period, the animals are available for adoption or subject to euthanasia.
Pets adopted from the shelter have been spayed or neutered, have received rabies shots and other treatment, and the identification chip has been inserted, the cost of which is covered by the adoption fee of $65 per pet.
Anyone wishing to adopt a shelter pet may secure information about the process by calling (910) 947-2858.
Information is also available through the county Web site, www.moorecountync.gov, by clicking the Animal Center link, then clicking on adoptions.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at (910) 693-279 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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