Local animal shelter dealing with overcapacity and cold temps

Gallup animal shelter dealing with overcapacity and cold temps

As the weather cools down, animal shelters are doing more intakes which is putting a strain on their efforts.

GALLUP, N.M. — Overcrowded animal shelters are nothing new but they become especially commonplace as temperatures cool down.

The McKinley County Humane Society shelter in Gallup is especially overcrowded with dogs. The cold temperatures aren’t the only reason either.

“Right before Thanksgiving to mid-December, we had to stay in quarantine as a shelter because a very sick dog was surrendered to us which put all of our animals at risk. When that happens, we have to shut down the shelter. We have to clear the shelter out. We had to disinfect so we missed out on the holiday season for our animals,” said Melissa Davis of the McKinley County Humane Society.

On top of it, people are surrendering more animals. Davis said they’ve seen dogs left in crates and newborn puppies left in boxes.

“You know the temperature is 9° in Gallup overnight. So you can imagine how scary that is for us when we walk up and we see puppies in boxes, dogs in crates, dogs tied up,” Davis said.

Shelter officials are asking the community not to do this. Instead, they’ve implemented a rule to help with the influx.

“We only surrender on Mondays on Fridays by appointment. That is to help with the influx of animals coming in and to help with overcrowding,” Davis said.

There is good news. The shelter’s cat room is empty right now.

Even though adoptions are steady, the shelter is overcrowded with more dogs in need of homes. Even if you can’t adopt, they still need your help.

“I’d like to remind people to spay and neuter your pets and microchip your pets. If you live in McKinley County, we do both for you. Just call the shelter,” Davis said. “We’re always looking for fosters. It creates space in the shelter for us to take in more animals.”

The shelter also needs volunteers to help bag straw. They’re also giving away straw for anyone who needs it to help keep their pets warm in the cold.

Most of the dogs you’ll see in the video above are up for adoption. If you’re interested in adopting or fostering them, click here.