South Bay animal shelter has over 900 pets in urgent need for adoptions or fosters

Lauren Martinez Image
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
South Bay animal shelter has 900+ pets in urgent need for homes
San Jose Animal Care and Services currently has over 900 pets in urgent need for adoptions or fosters.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- San Jose Animal Care and Services is full, and they're calling for help from the Bay Area community to adopt or foster one of their animals.

San Jose ACS no longer has the capacity to take in healthy dogs or cats. As of Tuesday, the animal shelter has more than 900 animals, with 745 of them being kittens.

Jay Terrado, Director of San Jose ACS, said since he's been with the shelter in 2004, he's never seen the number of animals this high.

"I was here during the pandemic and the lowest number of animals we had were around 34, definitely less than 40, and so fast forward to now being close to 900 animals and it fluctuates day by day, it really gives you a perspective of how much things have changed," Terrado said.

During April and May the shelter received an average of 300 animals a week. With limited space, the shelter is only accepting sick, injured or aggressive animals.

Now, they're making room any way they can.

"So I was hoping we're weren't going to get here but unfortunately, we've used our classroom for cat cages, we doubled up some room with dogs that are able to be on either side of each other - separated. But they're still on either side. We have rooms to my right and to my left with small dogs that are all in the same room separated by a little gate of some sort," Terrado said.

Terrado said the high numbers they're seeing are a mixture of strays and owners surrendering.

"You have somebody at your front of your building begging you to take the animal because of the situation that they're in, and that makes it hard for the staff to say no to those folks," Terrado said.

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Terrado said staff are doing the best they can.

"The shelter is a stressful place not only for the animals but for the staff and volunteers that are here every day caring for these animals," Terrado said.

Because of the high population, shelter officials have requested overnight staff in their budget proposal that San Jose City Council will consider in the next few weeks. Having an overnight shift will allow the current crew to catchup on daily tasks like laundry and cleaning.

"It's challenging, it is extremely challenging for the team and the animals that are here," Terrado said.

San Jose resident Dana Hong adopted two kittens her and her friend had been fostering for the past few weeks.

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The dog, named "Baby Girl," was left with a bag filled with dog food, treats, and toys.

"It's wonderful. I think they're going to be more of a best friend - I'm going to be sad without them," Hong said.

There are animals at the shelter that have been there for a long time that are still adoptable.

Gretta has been at the shelter since August. Ronnie - a friendly staff favorite - was turned in last July.

"That is our ultimate goal, is we are here, because we want to save animals," Terrado said.

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On Tuesday, a total of 18 animals were adopted that included 13 cats and 5 dogs.

For dogs six months or older, the shelter is waiving adoption fees through June.

The shelter is open seven days a week and extended hours to Mondays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday to Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, and Saturday and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To see all adoptable pets, visit their website here.

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