VIDEO: Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter experiencing severe overcrowding since start of summer
The Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter has experienced extreme overcrowding since the start of the summer, according to Customer Service and Community Outreach Manager Kate Turner.
"I’ve been in and around the shelter since 2010 and this has definitely been one of our busiest summers," Turner said. "It’s been really hard for us to catch a break, between cats coming in and finally getting ahead of the game and feeling like we are in a good place with our cat numbers ― and then we'll get 20 more in at once.”
The shelter held a no-fee adoption event that ended on Tuesday and has an ongoing special called "Whisker Wednesdays" for half-off dog adoptions and free cat adoptions. With the help of the no fee adoptions, about 180 animals were adopted in the month of August compared to the average number of about 100 a month.
But the shelter is still very full.
“We were just so extraordinarily full that we really needed to make sure that these animals were finding new homes as soon as possible," Turner said. "If that means dropping the adoption fees down to nothing to make sure that they have a chance at a forever home and it gets people down here, that's what we have to do.”
At the start of the summer, the shelter ended up taking in 100 cats from a single household and a higher number of dogs from animal cruelty court cases than usual, Turner said.
"Somebody got in over their heads with too many animals and they weren’t fixed so they had more and more kittens," Turner said. "Also we’ve had a number of dog fighting cases that we’re working on, those are still pending in court.”
The Shelter aims to prevent overcrowding issues in the future. They hope to have a new shelter built by the end of 2018 with more space to accommodate the array of domestic animals they receive daily, Turner said, whether they're cats, dogs, chinchillas or ducks.
"If they are a domestic animal from Ingham County and they need a safe place to be, we need to make room for them," Turner said. “When 100 cats come in at once we just have to make space and get creative."