Houston’s Stray Animal Crisis: Houston Humane Society Needs Donations, Adopters, and Volunteers to Fight Shelter Overcrowding

HOUSTON, TX (KTRK) — A stray animal crisis continues in the city of Houston, and area shelters are in desperate need of foster homes, donations and volunteers.

The Houston Humane Society (HHS) reported a waiting list for admission that approached a peak of 100 dogs in the past month.

Macey Staes, the HHS marketing coordinator, said the two main contributing factors are the residual impacts of the pandemic and inflation. Many people have returned their pets after returning to the office, claiming that they no longer have enough time to train and care for their pets.

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“What people thought was a good time to get a dog actually turned out to be a time when these animals ended up being unsocialized or developing bad separation anxiety. Now that they’re going back to work, these dogs are not crate or potty trained properly,” Staes said.

Others say they can no longer afford to feed their animals due to rising costs. Experts say pet care has increased by 14%.

“If people are moving out of an apartment and having to pay another pet deposit, that might not be feasible for some families right now. Some people are struggling to feed themselves and their pets and unfortunately , that’s a cost that needs to be cut sometimes,” Staes said.

Shelter workers say they have increased capacity by grouping animals together. They also provide resources for pet owners to help keep families together.

SEE ALSO: How pet adoptions have been affected by the pandemic

One is the pet pantry, which not only provides pet food, but also wipes, beds, and toys. Two are low-cost vaccinations so families can access preventative care. Three is their full-service clinic, which offers affordable veterinary care seven days a week.

Staes said HHS could also use more donors, volunteers and adoptive parents. Their shelter is one of the few that offers an enrichment program, which helps mentally stimulate their animals through textures, smells, tastes, and more. to make them more adoptable and adaptable to new environments.

“We have opportunities where people who could use a dog for emotional support or who want that animal enrichment time can come and volunteer with the Houston Humane Society. We do our best to provide solutions to any issues that we see,” she said.

“Fostering not only saves the life of the animal you are sheltering, but also saves the life of another animal that you have made room for in the shelter.”

For more information on how to help or access shelter resources, visit the Houston Humane Society website.

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Jennifer R. Strohm