Local animal shelters overcrowded due to COVID-19

Local animal shelters overcrowded due to COVID-19

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - If you are looking to adopt or foster a pet, the time is now.

Collierville Animal Services, Memphis Animal Services, Fayette County Animal rescue and Tipton County Animal Shelter say they’ve been overflowing with animals since the beginning of the pandemic.

“During the COVID-19 a lot of people had to leave the area due to job loss, and so they’ve had to surrender their animals,” said Nina Wingfield, Interim Director, Collierville Animal Shelter.

On top of this, Wingfield says the overflow is due to other shelters like Memphis Animal Services only taking in emergency-only animals. This means animals that are a threat to public safety or need immediate medical care.

“Twenty-five percent or more of our animals are probably coming from outside areas,” said Wingfield.

Tipton County Animal Shelter also says they’ve seen an increase in animals from surrounding areas.

Fayette County Animal Rescue says they only take in animals from their county but have recently had an increase of strays.

Memphis Animal Services says they can only take a limited number of animals because they still not fully staffed.

“We’re in the hundreds approaching over 200 animals in our building, and we’re doing that even with 50% staff on site,” said Alexis Pugh, Director of Memphis Animal Services.

In effort to clear the shelters, both Collierville and Memphis Animal Services are working with to help people to keep their pets.

“So we will provide food, dog houses, medical attention…” said Wingfield.

“You can participate in our found foster program, which means we’ll do all the vaccines for you, we’ll spay and neuter the pet, we’ll microchip the pet,” said Pugh.

Collierville will be holding adoption events Oct. 3, Oct. 4 and Oct. 10 -- the adoption fee is only $50.

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