California animal shelters are at maximum capacity

California animal shelters are at maximum capacity

Since 2019, local animal shelters have been battling against increased animal admissions, and now many shelters are reaching their maximum capacity. This had led to worsened living conditions, reductions in medical treatments, and an increase of euthanizations in a number of animal shelters.

According to Esme Medina, the Community Outreach Coordinator for Santa Barbara County Animal Services, the main issue is that there are more animals going into the shelters than there are being adopted.

“The problem is not many animals are going out as they were in 2019, so this is creating a kind of a backflow or a backlog of animals in shelters,” Medina said in an interview with the Santa Barbara Humane Society.

A possible explanation for this lack of adoptions could be the financial situations of pet owners, as quarantine caused a number of people to lose their jobs. In more recent years, inflation has also negatively affected a number of people. These developments forced many pet owners to give up their pets, as they no longer could afford to care for them.

To help, people can donate to local animal shelters. Many shelters are experiencing a shortage of supplies as they care for a number of animals they weren’t prepared for, so donations can go a long way in helping the animals.

The second way to help shelters is by adopting an animal. Not only will this give more room to animals still waiting to be adopted, it will also greatly increase the living conditions of the animal you adopt. While shelters do their best to take care of the animals under their care, it’s still better for them to have their own home, as being in a crowded shelter can be nerve racking and overstimulating. This is especially relevant now that the shelters are running out of space. An alternative option for those who feel like they’re unable to care for an animal permanently is to foster. Many shelters will cover the costs of food and other resources needed to care for the animal if you choose to foster.

Santa Barbara and Santa Maria have seen an increase in surrendered pets in recent years, and there isn’t any sign of this changing. By helping local shelters, you’ll be increasing the livelihoods of animals currently in shelters, and the lives of any animals that might be surrendered in the future.

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