The Franklin County Dog Shelter & Adoption Center announced Thursday via social media that it was nearing full capacity.
The shelter has more than 160 dogs waiting for adoption, according to a Facebook post.
Due to the large number of dogs currently being held at the shelter, many have not been moved to the general adoption floor. The shelter urged people wanting to meet a dog seen on its website to let staff know when they arrive.
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Kaye Persinger, director of the shelter, said the shelter hasn’t been this full in the past 10 years. She said these high volumes were happening across the country.
“Everyone is pretty much at capacity,” she said.
Cincinnati Animal Care has already taken in a surplus of animals and is at “Code Red” capacity, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer.
This Humane Society kill-free animal sanctuary was at fewer than 71 kennels, according to a social media post Tuesday, and its capacity “lingers around the worst it’s ever been with more than two dozen of dogs living in pop-up crates”.
Persinger attributed the influx of animals to shelters to COVID-19. She said there has been a shortage of veterinarians in the field since all elective animal surgeries, such as neutering and neutering, ceased as a result of the pandemic.
All adopted pets from the shelter are spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped, according to the shelter’s website.
“When we were allowed to start doing surgeries again, there was a shortage of vets and people were on waiting lists,” she said.
She said the shelter currently has nearly 200 foster dogs and suggested this as an option for people who are unsure about adoption. The shelter also offers a pet food pantry through donations from community members if pet care costs are an obstacle.
“The Columbus community is a blessing,” she said. “We would have had to make some really tough decisions if it wasn’t for them.”
Persinger asked those who find a stray dog to do their best to find the owner before bringing them to the shelter.
To see all current dogs available for adoption with real-time updates, visit dogs.franklincountyohio.gov.
Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Emily DeLetter contributed to this article.