Overcrowding means euthanization.
“We’ve had almost 200 animals impounded just last week system wide for Riverside County, so we are bursting at the seams at all of our shelters,” Jaclyn Schart shared.
Schart is the Operations Manager at the Riverside County Department of Animal Services in Thousand Palms.
She says the shelter needs help.
“That’s why our adoption fees are waived indefinitely to try to make space for any of the dogs coming in because there is just no more room,” she said.
The three sweet dogs featured on NBC Palm Springs this week, North, Nelson and Nelly, have been breaking hearts across the region and on social media.
Because of all this attention, they have been rescued.
North was moved to another animal shelter, while Nelson and Nelly will be picked up by a rescue partner tomorrow.
On top of that, all 22 dogs who were just hours away from being euthanized have been adopted.
But the three dogs and their puppies have brought attention to another big issue: spaying and neutering animals.
“What happens a lot in those rural areas like Thermal and Mecca is that one rancher might have a dog and it’s just not spayed or neutered,” Schart explained. “So that one dog turns into a litter of puppies that are raised loose and wild, and then when people start to see a group of dogs, they get concerned that a pack of dogs can cause damage to crops. Just because one dog wasn’t spayed or neutered, it turned into seven dogs.”
Overcrowding at shelters isn’t new, but because of this, the message is clear: consider adopting before shopping.
“If you’re somebody who likes dogs that have medical conditions, behavior conditions or maybe just has the time and patience to work with one of our more challenging dogs, those are the people we are pleading for,” Schart emphasized. “The puppies and kittens get adopted, but it’s really the rest of the kids who need more help.”
But, the work isn’t done.
The Riverside County Animal Services in Jurupa Valley is also overcrowded.
So if you can, reach out to family and friends to see if they are willing to adopt or even foster.