The Harris County Animal Shelter in Houston, Texas, had a two-and-a-half-hour wait on Tuesday to surrender a pet.
Dogs were confined to leashes or put in carrying bags and cages as people sat in plastic chairs. Dogs panted in the hot summer sun as the line stretched out the door and through the parking lot.
“Today, there is a two-and-a-half-hour wait to surrender an animal to the Harris County Animal Shelter. On Facebook, the shelter remarked, “That is how many animals we are getting!” “If they are unable or unable to wait, they are tied to a tree and left or abandoned in a box in our parking lot.”
The sheer difficulty of pet ownership is an excuse that shelter workers have heard from owners leaving their animals time and time again.
“The most frequent reasons we’ve heard are lifestyle changes – relocating, landlord won’t let you, can’t afford it,” McKeel explained. “Some folks simply state that the pet is no longer wanted or that the pet has been discovered.”
Despite the surge of stray dogs and surrenders, the shelter is committed to maintaining its 90 percent lifesaving rate, even if it means cramming five to six animals into each kennel.
According to McKeel, as a municipal shelter, the institution is obligated to accept every animal that walks through its doors, regardless of temperament, breed, or health condition. It is not uncommon for the shelter to receive hundreds of animals every week during the summer.
“Summer is generally our largest intake season,” McKeel explained, “primarily because to Texas’ year-round breeding season.” “We get a lot of puppies and kittens who are unwanted.”
Employees at the shelter were given a little break on Wednesday when the facility was closed for owner surrenders, but this will not last long.
“We anticipate another high-intake day tomorrow,” McKeel added, “given we were closed for intake today and will be moving into a holiday week next week.”