Local animal shelter in 'crisis' due to overcrowding
AIKEN, S.C. (WFXG) - The Aiken County animal shelter has seen fewer adoptions than usual in recent weeks, but continues to accept intakes. This has led to general overcrowding, with animals now being housed in the lobby, but there are also some dogs who have been at the shelter far longer than expected.
Marlene is one such dog. She is about 6 years old and 90 pounds, but described by staff as "a big lap dog." She was found in Aiken with three puppies who have all since been adopted, leaving her facing a bout of depression, but adoption counselor Bob Gordon believes she'll be back to herself when she finds a new home.
“She’s not going to be the kind of dog that’s going to fetch the tennis ball or anything like that…she’s more of a people-dog, and just likes to be with them," he says of Marlene.
A dog seeking a more active lifestyle is Chop, who was abandoned at the shelter in a crate with a note.
"The note said he was a big baby," says Gordon. "We don't know what that meant."
Gordon notes, due to his size, about 80 pounds, Chop will do best in a home without small children, and is timid around some men, but Gordon is confident he'll make a great dog for the right person or family.
Both Chop and Marlene have been waiting patiently for several weeks to find their new homes. With adoption numbers below average and the shelter at capacity, Gordon says, there are many reasons some dogs may stay longer than others.
“If a dog is shy, it can keep them here. Black dogs are three times less likely to get adopted. Kennel stress. If a dog is being shown and doesn’t want to be in the kennel, that can put a person off. And then sometimes it’s a beauty contest. We have dogs we love because we get to know them, but people only see the outside, so that can take longer sometimes.”
Gordon also tells FOX54 cats are typically adopted faster than dogs because people view them as less of a commitment and lower maintenance pets.
The Aiken County Animal Shelter opens at 11am Mondays through Saturdays. The adoption fee for dogs is $35.
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