Cincinnati Animal CARE Humane Society says its facility is at capacity, with dozens of "amazing dogs available for adoption." The society assumed operations of the former SPCA-run shelter in Northside on Aug. 1.
Meaghan Colville, director of lifesaving operations, says the shelter can house 120 dogs and 100 cats in individual cages. While kittens can sometimes share cages, she says the preference is no more than one dog per cage.
"We've got pretty much exactly 120, we're floating in and out each day ... at any give time we've got more animals coming in. ... We need help to make sure we don't have to start doubling up and going over our capacity."
Cincinnati Animal CARE is looking to get reduce the shelter population. Appointments can be scheduled via email or by calling 513-541-PETS (7387), or people may walk-in. The shelter is open daily from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Those with appointments will be given preference and visitors are asked to wear masks.
Many shelters have seen populations decrease during the COVID-19 pandemic with more people working from home. Colville says the agency is looking into why its numbers are up.
"We're to pick up on trends and see where the animals are coming from; why are they coming? We've had a lot of strays coming in lately."
Many people who were employed at the SPCA's Northside shelter have stayed on with Cincinnati Animal CARE and, Colville says, "they just recently said they haven't seen this many animals coming in probably in the last year, so we're not really sure what's going on and we hope it slows down a little bit."
If an owner can't be located, it's hard to know why an animal is a stray, Colville says.
"I think with COVID, what we're seeing is possibly the stress of maybe jobs are being lost; there's, I think, an uptick in evictions. So we're starting to see some of those things happening. We're really running into what I would imagine to be housing and financial issues."
She adds part of Cincinnati Animal CARE's mission is to work within various communities to figure out where the strays and surrenders are coming from and find ways and programming with a community to prevent those actions.