Sonoma Co. Animal Services asking for public's help with shelter overflowing

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Saturday, March 23, 2024
Sonoma Co. Animal Services asks for help with shelter overflowing
At Sonoma County Animal Services, the shelters have never been more full. And the county is now asking for the public's help.

SONOMA CO., Calif. (KGO) -- At Sonoma County Animal Services, the shelters have never been more full.

"We have 118 dog kennels. And right now, I want to say we have two or three that are actually open," said Brian Whipple.

Over the past few weeks, an influx of new animals have overwhelmed staff.

It's a trend that's played out across the county and the entire state, says Emma Diemert.

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Diemert tells us in the years she's worked with animal shelters, she's never seen it this bad.

"Especially with our rescue partners. So they kind of control the population of animals that they get in. And to see them kind of have an explosion of animals in their kennel space as well is really alarming," she said.

Folks at the shelter say they believe there are a number of factors driving the increased number of animals there.

One of those factors is the hangover left from the pandemic.

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During COVID, a large number of people who were at home got animals.

But as things went back to normal, many of them couldn't care for them anymore and dumped them at shelters.

"There's a veterinary shortage nationwide right now, which really impacts spay and neuter, which leads to accidental litters happening all the time," Diemert said.

In order to help with the overcrowding, Sonoma County Animals Services is asking the public for help -- either by adopting or fostering.

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On Friday, Jacob Jaffe and Jing Wu of Santa Rosa came by to take a look at some of the animals.

They adopted a kitten from the shelter back in October.

"I think with a breeder there are a lot of ethical concerns, and especially with how many animals are up for adoption. I think it could really help out," Jaffe said.

Until more help comes though, the shelter says they'll do everything they can.

Getting creative to help as many animals as possible.

"We'll put crates in our multi-purpose room and rotate animals through. And as a kennel opens up, we'll move an animal into that. Sometimes we have to half off our kennels and put dogs on either side," Whipple said.

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