‘We’re inundated’: Animal shelters across the U.S. are overflowing
Story by Alene Tchekmedyian, Alexandra E. Petri
n the lobby of the Inland Valley Humane Society & SPCA shelter in Pomona, Nikole Bresciani gestured toward rows of kennels erected a few months ago to house an influx of stray cats. In another area, pop-up crates for dogs were stacked on wheels.
To Bresciani, the president and chief executive of the shelter, it was more evidence of the flood of animals coming into the facility since the COVID lockdown.
“We’re inundated,” she said of her organization, which provides shelter services for a dozen cities in the region. “We’ve never had kennels in the lobby for cats.”
An overcrowding crisis has gripped animal shelters across the state and nationwide, exacerbated by a shortage of veterinarians, the high cost of pet care and the overwhelming of rescue organizations, which traditionally take on the overflow from shelters and largely rely on volunteers to foster animals in their homes.
The Animal Care Centers of New York City, which runs the city’s public animal shelters, announced in October that it was closed for most dog surrenders because it was too full. Earlier this year, shelters in North Carolina and Texas also temporarily suspended most intakes for similar reasons.
“We are out of space for new arrivals,” the New York City organization said on its website, requesting that people take stray dogs into their homes instead of to a shelter.