Holidays don’t help extreme overcrowding at Homeward Animal Shelter

FARGO, ND (Valley News Live) – An increase in the number of cats and dogs at a Fargo animal shelter has left the hostel with little room. Staff have been forced to stack crates all over the building in an attempt to accommodate more pets, and say the problem is only getting worse as the holidays approach.

“There are a lot of animals that need to be rescued and not as many adopted animals as we would like,” said Heather Clyde, head of Homeward Animal Shelter.

Normally at this time of year the Homeward Animal Shelter has around 120 dogs and cats, but at the moment Clyde says they have over 170.

“Unfortunately, every kennel in the building is pretty much full,” she said.

Today, the refuge accommodates five other animals from only one of the local pounds. Clyde says they welcome new animals from surrounding shelters and subway pounds almost daily. The overflow left a dog living in the hallway and forced three staff to share their desks with 10 cats and counting.

“It’s unfortunate that we keep taking the same number of animals, so we’re not making a lot of progress,” Clyde said.

She says that many current host families have vacation plans, the shelter had to take these animals back until the host families returned. Clyde says the holidays typically slow their adoption rate for the same reason.

VNL reported similar circumstances at the shelter in July, and while Clyde says our story has helped recruit new foster families and adoptions, it wasn’t enough. Clyde says in his perfect world, the shelter would have 30 more foster families.

“We have a lot of senior animals or we have dogs that need someone who is willing to work with them and train them, so these types of foster families are invaluable to us,” she said.

As the holidays approach, Clyde and many other shelters are urging you not to give any pets as gifts this year, because if that doesn’t work, there may not be room for that animal.

“Unfortunately, we have to say no to a number of animals that need to be relocated by their owners because we just don’t have the space,” Clyde said.

Clyde says things usually slow down at the shelter once winter hits, but there’s no guarantee that will be the case this year. Homeward invites you to sign up to be a foster family or to donate to the care of the many animals in their shelter. You can find more information here.

Copyright 2021 KVLY. All rights reserved.

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