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Cincinnati Animal CARE capacity reaches a nearly two-year peak

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Cincinnati Animal CARES
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A family adopts a dog named Mako from Cincinnati Animal CARES humane society.

Cincinnati Animal CARE, a humane society, got 93 new animals at its facility over the weekend. That put the total of on-site animals at 175, the highest number since the organization took over for the SPCA in August 2020. Now, the organization is asking for foster care providers to step up to help alleviate capacity issues.

Media and Community Relations Manager Ray Anderson says the facility has seen a 60% increase of stray animals since last April.

"We have days where we'll get very, very good distance ahead of it. And then we'll see a weekend like this one where 93 new animals came in since Friday — Friday to Monday, 93 new animals," he said. "And that's dogs and cats, but we have 100 appropriate kennels for dogs here at the shelter."

That means dogs have had to be contained in emergency kennels or crates in hallways or offices. He says while that number has gone down since Monday, the facility is still in need of foster caregivers to help alleviate capacity.

Why so many surrendered pets?

Anderson says he can't be sure of the exact reason the facility is seeing more dogs being surrendered. But he has his suspicions.

"There were a lot of backyard breeders taking advantage of shelters and rescues clearing out during the pandemic, so they saw their business go up," he said. "And now that life is starting to get back to quote-unquote 'normal,' they've got all these puppies that they don't have anything to do with. And as they start to get a little bit bigger and start to get a little bit older, they might be adopting them out to less than reputable people or just giving them away or just turning them loose."

His theory is rooted in the kinds of dogs being surrendered. They're not neutered, not microchipped, and not licensed — all things shelters require.

Cats are a different issue, though.

He says partnerships with facilities like the Purrfect Day Cat Café in Covington and the SPCA in Cincinnati easily help get hundreds of kittens adopted or fostered.

But with warmer weather comes breeding season for unspayed cats. Anderson says he expects between 1,500-2,000 more kittens to make their way to the humane society during that time.

For more information about adopting or fostering pets, visit the Cincinnati Animal CARE website.