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Crammed Wake animal shelter sees increase in adoptions

Posted July 10, 2015
Updated July 12, 2015

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— The Wake County Animal Center was bursting at the seams for weeks, but within a few hours of opening Saturday, officials said they had 13 adoptions and 20 trial adoptions.

“We’ve seen several dogs get adopted today [Saturday], cats as well,” said rescue coordinator Cindy Lynch. “We’ve had so many deposits that we’ve run out of deposit slips.”

Officials said the shelter has received more than 300 animals within the last 10 days.

The shelter and its foster home network are bursting at the seams with more than 250 cats and dogs. Federico said officials have been working with rescue groups to move some animals out to make room for new ones.

"In June, we sent 70 animals to Vermont because they have stricter spay/neuter laws and they don’t have the kittens that we do," she said.

But between puppy and kitten season, lagging adoptions in the summer and more strays and abandoned pets picked up, all rescues are near capacity.

Under North Carolina law, county shelters must take in all animals, no matter how crowded they are. Stray animals must be kept at least 72 hours to give owners a chance to find them, but surrendered animals aren't so lucky.

"Owner-surrenders we don't have to hold for any length of time. Once you sign them over to us, they're ours," Federico said. "Now, what we try to do is find everybody a home, but if we have legally required holds, unfortunately the ones that we own are the first to go down."

She asked people who can no longer keep their pets to first try to find new homes for the animals themselves through social media, fliers, friends and neighbors. That's especially true for older pets, which often are passed over at the shelter, she said.

"If you've exhausted everything that you can possibly do, then we're here for you, but we just don't want to be the first thing you think of," she said. "But we want to be the first place you think of though if you want to look for a pet."

The Wake County Animal Center is open daily for adoptions from 12 to 6 p.m. A dog costs $95 to adopt if it has not been spayed or neutered and $45 if it's already undergone a procedure. The cost for a cat is $45 if it hasn't already been spayed or neutering and $15 if it has.

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