Overcrowding at Hillsborough Pet Resource Center continues | New

TAMPA — It’s common for populations to spike during the summer months at the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center, but this year has been anything but standard.

Despite the success of several adoption events, the shelter at 440 N. Falkenburg Road remains well beyond its capacity to keep its cats and dogs, said volunteer shelter coordinator Chelsea Waldeck. During a two-day event in late July, the shelter participated in the National Best Friends Adoption Weekend and placed more than 230 animals.

“It’s definitely contributed to a dent in our population,” said Waldeck, who is also a board member for the Hillsborough County Pet Resources Foundation, Inc. “Unfortunately, it has since filled in. Cats are starting down, which is good, but our dog population is starting to increase.

Speaking by phone Aug. 3, Waldeck said the Pet Resource Center houses about 266 dogs and 220 cats. This puts the shelter at around 150% capacity for dogs and around 390% for cats.

Overcrowding at the shelter also started happening before this summer, Waldeck said. Fewer animals entered during the COVID-19 pandemic, but this trend has reversed course.

“We’re definitely back to pre-COVID numbers now,” she said, adding that many animal neutering and neutering facilities have had to shut down or reduce operations, which could impact the numbers. current overpopulation.

The shelter continues to hold periodic special events and programs throughout the year to help reduce the number of people. On Saturday, August 6, the Find a Study Buddy adoption event focused on back-to-school activities and the shelter provided school supplies for children. As with most events, adoption fees have also been waived.

The Pet Resource Center also participates in the national Clear the Shelters campaign throughout August, including a special event on Aug. 27, Waldeck said.

Although most animals that end up at the shelter are brought in as strays, many are abandoned by owners who can no longer care for them. The Pet Retention Program helps combat these situations, whether owners cannot afford food or medical bills or have behavioral issues with the animal.

“If the animal ends up coming to our house, we’ll have to cover those costs anyway,” Waldeck said. “So we would much rather see what we can do to keep families together.”

The Pet Resource Center is the only open-admission shelter in Hillsborough County and its adoption hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. You can find more information about the Pet Resource Center by searching for it on the www.HillsboroughCounty.org website or by following the shelter on Facebook.

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