Santa Fe Animal Shelter over capacity

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SANTA FE, N.M. – The pandemic is putting the Santa Fe Animal Shelter in a tough spot. It’s been at critical capacity for months now – and is struggling to find forever homes for hundreds of animals.

More than 300 dogs and cats are up for adoption right now at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and it’s been at critical capacity since May.

"It’s been a very crazy summer. From May through July of this year, we have welcomed in 1,447 animals in need. These are strays, injured, unwanted pets just from Santa Fe county alone which equals to about 16 animal every single day,” said Murad Kirdar spokesperson with Santa Fe Animal Shelter.

Kirdar said the pandemic is a big reason why people are surrendering pets is because they can no longer care for them.

"Due to COVID a lot of people picked up a lot of puppies. They never got them spayed and neutered so this year that’s what we’re dealing with, a lot of puppies and kittens, so I keep telling people if your animal is not spayed or neutered please go out first thing – this is your job for September – get them spayed or neutered, get them vaccinated, get them socialized,” said Kirdar.

This past weekend, the shelter waived adoption fees for the fourth time this year, and the good news is it found forever homes for about 60 pets. But for each pet it adopts out – the shelter takes in about four more, meaning it still needs help with adoptions and fostering.

"Our shelter runs on volunteers, we have about 500 active volunteers. So volunteers can do everything from fostering any of the of animals that are ready for adoption or they can foster bottle feeders, puppies and kittens that just aren’t quite ready for adoption they can also come to the shelter and walk animals,” said Kirdar.