Wake County Animal Center facing overcrowding after more than 500 animals dropped off in June

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Wake County Animal Center facing overcrowding after more than 500 animals dropped off in June. (WTVD)

The Wake County Animal Center is facing overcrowding concerns after more than 500 animals have been dropped off in June so far.

"They're coming in every day, by the hour," said the shelter's transfer coordinator Cindy Lynch.

The majority of the animals dropped off have been kittens, cats, puppies, and dogs.

While the center is meant to provide a temporary stay, it's quickly becoming a permanent problem for officials.

"It is very difficult because if an owner comes in and surrenders their animal, there is that possibility with no space here that animal can be euthanized. And that is something that we try our best to not have to do," said Lynch.

Fortunately, the shelter has not had to euthanize due to space in years.

While surrenders typically spike over the summer, June has put a particularly heavy burden on staff. Outside the front door, a sign greets people and asks them to reconsider surrendering their animals.

As the population explodes throughout the Triangle, shelter officials are trying to keep up with the influx.

"Those people do come into the city and to the counties with their animals as well," said Lynch.

Lynch also said she believed the larger population has exacerbated surrenders.

Officials are now working to try and expand their capabilities and offerings to keep pace with the growing population.

"This is a county shelter. We are an open intake shelter, and we can only house so many animals but we cannot turn away any animals. So we are in very much need of our rescue partners to partner with us and pull, and we also need people to foster," said Lynch.

For now, they'll rely on people like Trae Garrett, who came from Durham to the shelter Thursday afternoon looking for a puppy.

"It's a lot of dogs without homes, and you might as well just start with them giving them homes," said Garrett.

After searching, he found Charger, who's now set to get a Forever Home.

"The joy of seeing them being able to be released from this place, and just be loved, and they just want to be cared for," Garrett said.

While today it's Charger, tomorrow it could be Tiana, who has been at the shelter since October. Lynch said she believes it's the longest they've had an animal.

It's a heartbreaking reality, that can become a heartwarming ending, in just one visit.

Outside of adoptions, fosters and rescues, Lynch said the shelter is also seeking donations, specifically of blankets, towels, and dog and cat canned food. They're also accepting volunteers to assist in caring for the animals.

People interested in adopting can visit the shelter from noon to 6 p.m., seven days a week. To learn more about the shelter, click here.

The Wake County Animal Center isn't the only shelter with overcrowding concerns. The Harnett County Animal shelter said they've reached capacity, and have more than 100 animals in need of homes.
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