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Often-crowded Fayetteville shelter sees success from Clear the Shelters event

Posted September 13, 2021 5:56 a.m. EDT
Updated September 17, 2021 11:31 a.m. EDT

— The often overburdened Cumberland County Animal Shelter has some good news to share.

After waiving adoption fees for Clear the Shelters at the beginning of the week, the usually full shelter found homes for 88 cats and kittens, 42 dogs and two rabbits in only a few days.

On Friday, Elaine Smith, Director of Cumberland County Animal Control, told WRAL News only six dogs, six cats and three kittens remain in the shelter, but it's not too late to adopt.

"We may have more available later today due to intakes," Smith said.

The shelter, located at 4704 Corporation Drive, takes in more animals than almost any other North Carolina shelter – around 11,000 animals each year. It can only hold 300 animals at a time.

Even with the help of fosters, volunteers and rescue groups, there is often not enough space to house all stray animals. The decision to euthanize a dog or cat when all alternatives are exhausted is heartbreaking for her staff, Smith said.

"What people don’t understand is we literally have no choice," Smith said. "I don’t have a choice when I have 20 dogs coming in and I have no empty cages or kennels. I have to make space. If that means out of the 20, I can adopt out 10, fantastic. If I can get five to rescue, great. Maybe two go back to their owners. That still leaves me three dogs we might have to euthanize."

You can help save homeless animals during Clear the Shelters and year long by adopting, fostering or volunteering.

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