HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The holiday season is a popular time for families to get a new pet.
A local animal shelter hopes families will instead consider adopting, at a time when many facilities are over capacity.
The Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center has been over capacity for the last year and has an urgent need for adoptions and fosters.
“Across the entire nation shelters are reaching capacity that we haven’t seen in a very, very long time,” said Chelsea Waldeck, Senior Supervisor of Volunteer Services with PRC.
for the last year, PRC has been overcrowded with dogs.
“We have we have close to 280 dogs on site, which is about 150% capacity for us,” Waldeck said.
Waldeck believes many families have fallen on tough times.
“Right now the uncertainty of the economic situation has a big role in everything going on,” she said.
Waldeck said the shelter does not euthanize for space.
“The only time that we will euthanize is for medical reasons or behavioral reasons,” she said.
To help with overcrowding, some dogs are sleeping in offices.
“We do have a lot of offices with dogs in them right now,” Waldeck said.
For the last few months, adoption fees have been waived, as the shelter desperately searches for more people to adopt and foster.
They’re hoping this holiday season, people will open their hearts to help pets find forever homes, but so far they’re not seeing it.
“Usually this time of year we see a little bit of a reprieve. We see our numbers start going down to maybe 70% capacity, 50% capacity, so for us, staying at this level is very difficult,” Waldeck said.
On Saturday, PRC is holding an adoption event with fees waived for both dogs and cats.
If you can’t adopt, foster or volunteer, PRC always needs donations such as food, treats, and peanut butter. For more information click here.