Trenton animal shelter sees overcrowding as owners surrender or abandon their pets
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many families adopted pets for companionship.
It was a huge help for shelters that were looking to adopt out animals in need. But many of those pets are now being returned to those shelters by the very same families that took them in.
One such shelter is the Trenton Animals Rock shelter in Trenton. The shelter has taken back numerous pets after the owners could no longer care for them because they lost their job and couldn’t afford a pet. It has created a serious overcrowding problem at the shelter.
Trenton Animals Rock is not that big – there are only 20 cages for cats and 20 cages for dogs. But the shelter takes in an average of 350 dogs and 200 cats per year.
Willow is a dog that was found on the street after her owner abandoned her. She will have to stay in the intake office until her owner is found or she is adopted.
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“She’s super-duper sweet. She’s a good girl,” says shelter director Danielle Glutton. “We are hoping her owner will come forward, but we only have a 20% reclaim rate.”
Willow was found on Willow Street by Animal Humane Officer Jose Munoz. "A lot of people are not financially able to maintain a pet now, so we are finding more than abandonment. We are finding more owner surrender,” Munoz says.
With a lack of space, the shelter had to get creative, namely with foster care, by offering up daytime or weekend foster care for those who want to help but not adopt. The shelter has over 20 dogs in foster care because they're short on space.
“We’ve also done the temp foster where we’ve pulled a lot of dogs into people’s homes, where they’re giving us a week,” Glutton says.
One of the people helping is Mary Beth Boland, who is taking a dog named Rusty for a few days. Rusty was surrendered after his owner lost their job.
"He was an owner surrender. He had some eye issues, so we will stop by the vet on the way home and get some drops,” Boland says.
Some relief may come from the city of Trenton. Two trailers that were purchased two years ago may be able to help with space.
But the Trenton City Council has yet to pass money to put them in place and hook up electricity and plumbing. The shelter is hoping the council comes through by winter.
Those trailers are paid for but still housed with the manufacturer.
Anyone who wishes to help foster or adopt a pet can contact Trenton Animals Rock.