WACO - With Fourth of July around the corner, shelters typically see a higher number of animals coming in off the streets as fireworks crackle in the sky. Runaway pets become common during this period of time.
For the Humane Society of Central Texas, more animals being taken off the streets would create a major issue -- a lack of space to house the overflow of incoming cats and dogs.
The shelter is welcoming in more cats and dogs than it has in years, so a weekend rush could put them over the edge, as they are almost at full capacity.
"It's neck and neck, as one goes out another one comes in, but the way it's been going the past couple of months, one goes out and four come in," Executive director Don Bland said.
However, the Humane Society has a resolution.
From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Humane Society of Central Texas held the "Paws For A Cause" Radiothon event, in one of many ways they are trying to encourage people to adopt a dog or cat.
Euthanization is a last resort option that the shelter has not yet had to exercise, but is a decision they have come close to making a number of times recently.
Bland said there is a common misconception amongst people who surrender animals in which said animal will stay safe. If overcrowding continues to get worse at the shelter, that misconception might, in fact, be proven wrong.
"People misunderstand that. They think I can drop a dog off here and it will be safe forever," Bland said. "Well, it might not be if there's more coming in than going out. There's going to be animals that have no place to go and they won't be safe."
Bland said some employees have even needed to bring animals home with them for the night to ensure there is enough kennel space for incoming animals without exercising euthanization.
So, with the holiday weekend coming up, the shelter wants to spread the word on how to keep your pet safe and out of the shelter.
"For pets who have extreme anxiety, talking to your veterinarian about if there is anything else that needs to be done for them is a good idea ahead of time, before the fireworks start and having a gameplan," Dr. Kim Egeler said.
Anyone can pick up an animal from the shelter for free as they continue to work against the rising population in the kennels.
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