The Corinne T. Smith Animal Center is facing dramatic overpopulation and intake problems, according to employees who spoke to the Bulletin on Monday.
Corinne Smith employee Stormy McNatt said the facility is fuller than it has been “in a long time.”
“We’re having way too many come in right now,” McNatt said. “They’re everywhere. We’re having so many problems, and we can’t keep up. We’re trying and trying to get them out adopted, but it seems like for every two adoptions we are receiving 10 new animals. It’s just too hard. It’s too hard on us and it’s too hard on the animals. They’re stressed, they’re getting sad and they’re getting sick.”
Many of the animals were quarantined on Monday to help stem the spread of sickness throughout the facility.
McNatt said it is normal for the animal center to see an uptick in admissions throughout the summer months. But she said this year’s burden has been particularly large, with entire litters of new dogs and cats being found and dropped off. She said the increase has also been fueled by an unusually large number of escaped pets, many of which remain unclaimed.
McNatt encouraged pet owners to personally visit the facility to search for any missing animals. “Sometimes people aren’t sure about breeds and stuff, and when they say they’re missing a brown dog … we probably have about 15 brown dogs here,” she said. “We don’t know what size they are. We need them to come look.”
Dog adoptions are $150 or $75 for fixed ones, and cats are $90 and $45. Adoption fees include spaying or neutering, rabies shots, booster shots, heartworm tests and microchipping. “We need people to come out and help save all these animals,” McNatt said.
For those who can’t adopt, the shelter is always accepting donations of cash or supplies. McNatt said the shelter’s most-needed items include bleach, laundry soap, towels, blankets, stainless steel bowls, flea medicines, sponges, air fresheners, cat litter and litter boxes.
Coldwell Banker is holding a supplies drive for Corinne Smith throughout the month of August as part of the organization’s national Homes for Dogs project. It will accept those listed items or any other pet-care product at its 1900 Austin Ave. location during business hours through the end of the month.
Those who donate through Coldwell Banker will be entered to win a free one-night stay at Vineyard Trail Cottages in Fredericksburg, Texas.
As always, McNatt encouraged pet owners to spay and neuter their animals. “Awhile ago, we had 13 puppies brought in because they were dumped on someone’s land,” she said. “If you fix one dog, you’re just dealing with the one instead of 14. It adds up fast.”
Because an average cat can have up to eight kittens per litter and two to three litters per year, a single cat can have more than 100 kittens in her lifetime.
The Corinne T. Smith Animal Center is located at 3016 Milam Dr. in Brownwood.