Lowndes animal shelters, home overcrowded - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lowndes animal shelters, home overcrowded

May 1, 2008

Lowndes  County - The Lowndes County animal shelter has a problem.

"We are overcrowded. It's puppy and kitten season and we are getting in about 20 animals a day," says Linda Patelski, director of the Lowndes County Animal Shelter.

Last year 7,200 animals were taken through their doors. Only 1,100 were adopted.

"We have a back load of cats and dogs that are waiting to go into our adoption program and they are backing up into our stray rooms and that's not an ideal situation," Patelski adds.

Selina Dunworth runs Lake Park Animal Rescue and says there's no vacancy at the county's foster homes either.  "We are turning people down every day. I'm getting phone call after phone call and I have to stay I'm so sorry. We have no room."

A county ordinance limits animals allowed in residential areas. Only two per home in the city and three in the county. That could be causing problems in finding pets a foster home.

But they say not getting your animal spayed or neutered is the biggest problem and is affecting the number of animals living in shelters and being adopted out.

"You are taking away homes from existing cats and dogs that need a home. Those existing cats and dogs are going to pay for that with their lives because they are going to be euthanized," says Cheryl Hatcher, a board member of the Valdosta-Lowndes Humane Society.

They are asking everyone to get their pets neutered and choose to adopt from shelters to give these animals a good home and the gift of life.

Lowndes County Commissioners will want to address animal foster care as well.

They understand the ordinance limits the number of pets in certain areas and could affect the number of animals that are given shelter.

But people who live near these foster homes and shelters often complain of noise and strays.

So commissioners hope to find a solution that will please everyone. 

"We are trying to determine what other communities here in the state of Georgia as well as other states are doing to address this same issue on how you handle foster and rescue programs," says County Manager Joe Pritchard.

They say the current ordinance is being re-assessed and expect any changes to be submitted by June.

This weekend you can help.  Many animals from the shelter and foster homes will be showcased Friday through Sunday at Petsmart at the Valdosta Mall.  The adoption event is going on at Petsmarts across the state and country.

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