Some South Coast animal shelters are facing an unprecedented crisis.
An unexpected flood of dogs and cats has left Ventura County’s two shelters more than 200 animals over their capacity, with staff and volunteers struggling to cope with the homeless pets.
The two animal shelters have been swamped with the largest intake of animals in their history.
Ventura County Animal Services is trying to deal with more than 600 animals, mostly dogs and cats, with about a quarter of them being turned in at the county’s shelters in the last week. The capacity for the facilities is around 350 animals.
Randy Friedman with Ventura County Animal Services says a combination of things led to the flood of pets. He says some people turned them in because they were moving, and said they couldn’t take them.
Because the Camarillo and Simi Valley are full, they technically aren’t accepting more animals, but other people came in and claimed they were turning in strays, so the shelter would be forced to accept them.
The county agency, working with its army of volunteers, has launched a big push to try to find homes for the flood of pets.
Friedman says they are using promotions, like big cuts in adoption fees to try to cope with the flood of dogs and cats. On some days of the week you can adopt for about $20, instead of the normal $120.00. They’re also using social media to get photos of dogs, cats, and other animals out so people will perhaps see one they’d like to adopt.
Tara Diller, the Director of Ventura County Animals Services, says they are proud that the county agency reached no-kill status, which means that it no longer euthanizes healthy animals over space issues. But, agency officials say it’s a constant battle to keep finding homes for animals, especially when the facility is swamped.
Shelter team members say seeing the dogs, cats and other animals in overcrowded conditions is heartbreaking, and they are hoping people who’ve maybe been considering adopting a pet will do it now to help ease the crisis.