Animal shelters all across the country are experiencing an increase in the number of pets entering the shelters and a decrease in adoptions, and right now the awareness within our community of this fact is imperative. Understanding and recognizing this trend is what’s necessary for us to discuss much needed community driven solutions. Louisiana shelters have always been overburdened with high numbers of pet overpopulation but for some time we were seeing a positive, gradual shift in the right direction. However, this year we’ve seen the pendulum swing in the wrong direction. It is no longer just within our state, but on a national level.
Acadiana Animal Aid has always acted as a resource for our local municipalities and as a leader in transportation programs. However, this year our transport outlets have drastically lessened due to the national crisis. In the last quarter alone we have had a 51% decrease in the number of lives saved through transport. Unfortunately, our transport opportunities for the rest of the year are bleak. This change is due to ALL of our shelter partners experiencing the same exact struggle: a decrease in adoptions with a simultaneous increase in returns, resulting in an increased length of stay and crippling shelter capacity. Shelters are simply not able to move animals at the same rate that they have been in previous years.
If adoptions are down nationally then an animal’s time in the shelter increases, holding up kennel space for longer periods of time, making it near impossible to accommodate the demand of strays and surrenders. As of right now, 40% of our current population has been in our care for over 30 days. That’s almost 100 animals that have remained stagnant!
We fully recognize the economic impacts currently affecting pet owners, the lack of access to vet care and affordable, pet-inclusive housing, and so much more that’s at the root of these staggering numbers. But we have to remain vigilant in spite of these roadblocks, knowing lives are at risk every single day because of it. We want to stay hopeful and inspire you, as community members, to collectively work towards the best solution for the pets you love. We can’t do this alone and that’s why we need your support and cooperation through this extremely difficult time. We know we can get there but your involvement is key. Without community support for the local pet population, shelters and rescues will not be able to sustain the current influx of animals in need.
We are encouraging everyone to help their neighbors and take initiative to aid in the reunification of lost pets, responsibly rehoming those that need it, spay and neuter to prevent further overpopulation and work with your local shelters if you’re experiencing hardship. We know it’s difficult but we’re in this fight together. We ask for your compassion towards shelters that are drowning and take an active role in alleviating some of the burden.
To get directly involved with our efforts consider becoming a Guardian Angel by supporting our mission through a monthly donation, join our volunteer program to take part in our day to day operations, become a foster parent to increase the amount of lives we save or most of all, adopt and encourage your friends and family to do the same. However you choose to help, your contribution is lifesaving.
Human Animal Support Services is a social care platform to connect all people in need and the programs that serve them with dignity and ease. When families struggle, pets do, too.
Petco Love Lost is a tool used to help send lost pets back home. If you find a stray animal, reunification should be at the forefront of your efforts!
Rehome is free access to one of the largest pet adoption websites that allows you to safely rehome your pet.