Faced with an outbreak of canine distemper, with shelters filling up, kennel space declining for renovations, and an outbreak of canine distemper, the San Diego Humane Society has temporarily stopped accepting dogs surrendered by their owners.
The moratorium through mid-January comes as the organization tries to deal with the full storm of factors that left more than 600 dogs at some point in December. This is the best ever.
The number of dogs adopted by families has increased by nearly 30% compared to a year ago, but officials say strays and abandoned dogs are arriving at the organization’s shelters in San Diego, El Cajon, Escondido and Oceanside. The number of dogs far outnumbers the number of dogs on the move. To the adoptive home.
Nina Thompson, spokesperson for the organization, said, “We take in two dogs for every dog adopted. As of December 26, this year, 14,173 dogs have been adopted and 7,378 have been adopted. was served to
Adding to the problem, owners are adopting fewer stray dogs, causing them to stay longer in shelters before being adopted.
As of Monday, there were 568 dogs in the care of the organization, 474 in shelters (135% of capacity) and 94 in foster homes.
Adding to the lack of space, the San Diego facility underwent a $13.7 million renovation that temporarily eliminated kennel space for more than 50 dogs.
The renovation of the Gaines Street site began in May. When completed this summer, all dog rooms will have windows to allow adopters to see the animals, and the kennels will be angled so the dogs will not have a direct view of each other. It also has lighting and acoustics designed to lower the stress level of the , and the floor has drainage to make cleaning the room easier. The number of dog rooms has increased by 2, making it 58 rooms.
The space for breeding cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, and hamsters has also been renewed.
Due to the lack of kennels, authorities turned to foster parents and found some unusual fixes, such as turning classrooms into temporary shelters. A recently acquired street warehouse is also used to house animals. Some dogs double in kennels.
“We are very creative with our dog space and we don’t euthanize them for the sake of time or space,” Thompson said. “This is part of our commitment not to euthanize healthy shelter animals.”
Hoping to encourage more adoptions, the Humane Society has run a series of promotions since June, some of which reduce or waive adoption fees. In November, the organization bussed more than 30 of her adoptable dogs to Portland. “When we reached capacity in November, we asked the Oregon Humane Society for help, and they kindly offered to take in 41 dogs,” Thompson said.
In December, donors gave the organization $10,000 to waive adult dog adoption fees until the end of the year. Fees are generally $100 for dogs from 7 months to he is 7 years old and $30 for seniors over 7 years old. Since the campaign started on his December 13th, more than 200 of his adult dogs have been adopted, including 23 seniors.
The promotion has waived about $18,600 in adoption fees as of Dec. 28, Thompson said.
Another challenge hit the Humane Society when a case of canine distemper was discovered at the shelter. So far, nine dogs have tested positive for the virus. This prompted the organization to temporarily stop accepting surrendered pets. This also happened earlier this year when authorities discovered a case of pneumovirus in dogs, another infectious respiratory disease.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, canine distemper is a contagious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. It is spread by puppies and dogs coughing and sneezing, and by sharing water and utensils.
Many shelters have a surplus of dogs available for adoption, Thompson said. Some people may have stopped taking care of pets because of the economic downturn, she said. The market could also become saturated as people who want to adopt already have dogs at home, she said.
“Everyone is suffering now. Everyone is full,” she said. “Everyone goes through the same thing.”
Two shelters run by the County Animal Services Department also have an “unusually high stock” of dogs, DAS director Kelly Campbell said through a publicist. Said there were over 100 dogs on site. This is about double the normal for this time of year.
“There is an urgent need for adoption and foster care,” Campbell said, due to the dog’s long stay at the shelter.
While the Humane Society makes exceptions and accepts dogs surrendered by their owners in an emergency or when the dog’s health is at stake, Thompson said the organization will allow owners to remove unwanted pets on January 15. said to hold up and encourage them to try to find new homes for the animals. The organization offers resources to help, including assistance with veterinary care and free meals.
People should also try to reunite stray dogs with their owners instead of taking them to overcrowded shelters. “[Lost pets]are very often just a few blocks from home,” Thompson said.