WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Animal shelters and rescue groups have been very vocal on social media recently about the need for adoptions. Many are finding families can no longer afford their pets, leaving shelters bursting at the seams.
In a recent post from Jewel Horton, Director at the Pender County Animal shelter, mentioned having 152 animals but only 100 cages. “Right now, the economic impact that COVID has had on homes and housing and the financial crisis that’s what we’re seeing right now is people having to lose their pets because they can no longer afford them due to the secondary effects due to COVID and the economy,” said Horton.
There have been similar posts from Bladen and New Hanover counties. “Right now we are at very high capacity with animals. We’re seeing a lot of them get dumped not only at the shelter but we’re seeing them getting dumped out in the field, where they’re going down a dirt road and just dumping them,” said Jodi Kerwin of the New Hanover County Animal Shelter.
Rosey’s Rescue Founder Rosey Milazzo has seen this before. She and her volunteers rescued 14 puppies that were dumped at the river. One of them, Winston now spends his days at Paws Resale Shoppe with his new mom. That shop helps raise money for Rosey’s rescue efforts. It’s one of several rescue groups who get calls from local shelters when they need help.
“I got an email from New Hanover Animal Shelter. They’re looking for help for us to rescues to pull dogs, I got a message from the Pender Shelter, they called me they said can you please help we have several litters,” said Milazzo of Rosey’s Rescue and PAWS Resale Shoppe.
But rescue groups are also struggling, and Milazzo is concerned.
“We’re not doing the adoptions that we were doing before COVID or when COVID first started and not that COVID is over and the economy is so bad everybody is returning their COVID puppies. I’ve been involved in rescue for over 14 years, I’ve fostered for other rescues locally before I opened my own rescue and I’ve been going everywhere from Robeson to Sampson County and everything in between and I have never seen it like this before.”
Before you give up your pet, there are other options.
“If you need help just for the temporary, we can help you. My store PAWS Resale Shoppe, reach out to us we can help you with food, we can help you with vaccines, if we get our donations built back up again, we can help you with medical bills,” said Milazzo.
“Call your local shelter and have that conversation. There’s a lot more resources out there that I don’t think people realize. There are pet food banks to help with food assistance. If you need spay or neuter assistance you stop these unwanted litters, slow down the influx of animals coming in. Don’t just assume the worst,” said Horton.
Dumping an animal should never be an option.
“That to me is unacceptable. It’s not fair to the animal, they don’t know what’s going on. That to me is one of the harder things, is just to see that people will get a dog, have it for a couple years and then just dispose of it,” said Kerwin.
There are things you can do to help local shelters and rescue groups and prevent animals from being euthanized. You can foster or donate items or money.
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