The Athens County Dog Shelter is currently at capacity and is unable to accept anymore surrendered dogs.
After a large number of dogs were taken in by the shelter due to the owner being unable to care for them, space quickly became a luxury.
Athens County Dog Warden Ryan Gillette is requesting understanding from those looking to surrender their dogs to the shelter.
“We just ask people to be patient with us and kinda hang on. Give another dog a chance for a little while until we’ve got room for yours,” said Gillette.
Rehoming a dog yourself to a home that you know is safe can be another option. According to Gillette, bringing your own dog into the shelter should be a last case scenario.
Other shelters have taken on the policy of euthanizing dogs in order to make room but the Athens County shelter keeps them on site until they are adopted. According to Gillette, this is a practice that the shelter is not planning on adopting anytime soon.
“We’ve never done that, we don’t plan on starting,” he said. “We don’t euthanize dogs for space. We don’t feel that that’s the right way to go about it.”
The only time euthanasia is used is if the animal is in serious pain or if they are deemed a danger to the community for being too aggressive.
To get things back in order, a decent number of the dogs currently in their care will need to be adopted out or sent to rescues within the next few weeks. Gillette encourages adoption but also says donating to the local nonprofit Friends of Shelter Dogs is a great way for the public to help.
“The community has been awesome about supporting us and making sure that we have everything we need to take care of the dogs,” said Gillette. “It’s always been that way.”
If we can get a few of them adopted out or out to rescues and things, we’re seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. We’re not out of it yet but it’s looking better.”