State pet shelters battle capacity crisis

An increase in returned pets adopted during the pandemic is pushing pet shelters across the state beyond capacity.

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July 30, 2021 - 10:00 AM

Hank was born in the care of Melissa’s Second Chances and adopted at 8 weeks old during the pandemic. He was returned as an 8-month-old puppy. (PHOTO SUBMITTED TO KANSAS REFLECTOR)

TOPEKA — An influx of returned pets adopted during the pandemic is pushing pet shelters across the state beyond capacity.

For some shelters, this is business as usual during the summer months, but others are attributing the influx of pets to owners returning animals as they return to work in the office or face financial hardships. All are encouraging Kansans to consider ways they can help relieve the capacity crisis.

At Melissa’s Second Chances, a Shawnee pet shelter, the capacity for total cats and dogs is 80, but right now, there are close to 150 pets there. That is down from nearly 180 pets just a few weeks ago but still leaving staff and resources stretched thin.

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