KILLEEN, TX – The Killeen Animal Shelter is located off Commerce Drive, but the second you pull into the parking lot the traffic noise is drowned out by the barking and meowing coming from the facility.
That’s because the shelter is overloaded with furry friends.
“Unfortunately, there is very little space we can give to animals that come from the streets,” said Jessica Dunagan, the head of animal services.
In fact, if you are one of the lucky ones at the pound, you have your own cage, but with the influx of animals, each cage is split in half, creating space for two separate animals.
“If we get that capacity where we need to double or triple the cages, and that’s what we need to do,” Dunagan said. “We try to keep this to a minimum so that we can’t spread these additional diseases that might come with these animals.”
This capacity was reached some time ago.
The shelter has room for around 160 animals, cats and dogs, but right now it has well over 200, with more arriving every day.
“We get adoptions, free adoption weekends probably around 20-27, maybe 30,” Dunagan began. “Unfortunately, we take almost the same amount this same weekend.”
The constant flow creates a less than ideal situation, both mentally and physically, for the animals.
“They all look sad,” said Sara Jo Cain, a frequent adopter. “There’s nothing you can do about it because they’re in a cage, then you take them out, meet and greet, then boom, their full potential.”
Sara Jo Cain has adopted several dogs and cats from the Killeen Shelter and has seen the impact being in the shelter can have on a pet.
“I have Aries, Sage, Logon and Zero, and they’re all cuddle bugs,” she said with a smile. “I have all their potential.”
While donations and foster homes are always welcome and encouraged, Dunagan said the biggest help would be for volunteers to come to the shelter and socialize with the animals to keep them occupied while preparing them for adoption.
If you want to lend a hand, just head over to her website.