By Agrippina Fadel
It is all paws on deck at the Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Center. The shelter is running overcapacity, and the staff hopes the county residents can help.
Jenna Jones, Animal Care Behavior and Training Manager, said the shelter could house 106 dogs and 160 cats.
“The cat population at the shelter stays relatively low, but we now have 126 dogs, twenty more than we can comfortably hold. It may not seem like a big difference, but that is a lot of living beings in one building,” she said.
Jones said Broward Animal Care prefers to ideally operate at 70-80% capacity, which allows the staff to provide better care to the pets and use resources effectively.
She said the number of intakes— or dogs who come into the shelter, has been reducing and is now lower than pre-pandemic rates. They are primarily strays, brought in by the police or Good Samaritans. In better times, when the shelter has room to spare, it accepts the surrendered animals as well.
Even as strays on the streets dwindle, the shelter still has too many dogs who hope to find a forever home and a new family. Jones said it is “especially hard’ for larger pups.
“We recently had a “Go Big or Go Home” event, promoting large breeds adoption. It helped a few of our charges find their humans, but the turnout was not as good as we expected,” she added that not every family has the means or the space to adopt a big dog, so they are often prevalent in shelters.
Jones said residents could help by adopting dogs and cats or fostering them. Even a night or a weekend away from the kennels can give the dogs a much-needed break. The Animal Care Center also accepts donations of toys, blankets, and dog beds and invites citizens to volunteer at the shelter and help take care of the pets in need of love and attention.
And don’t forget to update the information on their dogs’ microchips, she added, and file a missing pet report with the shelter when the family pup goes missing. “It helps us reunite dogs with their families quicker.”
She added that the shelter also works as a help and resource center for families who already have pets. “We want all pet owners to know that if they are going through tough times and are considering surrendering their cat or dog, we are here to help in any way we can – with advice, free food, supplies, or basic medical assistance. Whatever they need to be able to keep the pet in the family,” she said.
The Adoption Center at Broward County Animal Care is located at 2400 SW 42 Street, Fort Lauderdale. It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Adoptions are at no cost and include spaying/neutering, vaccinations, a microchip, and a Broward County pet license tag.
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- Agrippina Fadel grew up in Siberia and received her master's in journalism from Tyumen State University. Agrippina is also a writer and editor at Draftsy.net. She has been a US resident for over ten years and speaks English and Russian.
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