Animal shelters across the Magic Valley saw an increase in animals entering their facilities this year.
The Twin Falls Animal Shelter: People for Pets and Jerome Animal Shelter experienced a surge in owner-pet surrenders, leaving the facilities to operate near full capacity. While many pets were adopted this year, shelters struggled to provide a space for all animals in their facilities.
Twin Falls Animal shelter Executive Director Debbie Blackwood said it was shocking to experience so many animals coming into the shelter, making 2021 a difficult year.
People for Pets shut down their animal surrender services for a period of time as an increase in dogs, cats and rabbits filled their shelter.
“We can’t take a bunch of animals in that have owners, when our kennels are full of animals that don’t have owners," Blackwood said.
Now, People for Pets is asking the public to plan ahead and schedule an appointment if they want to surrender their pet.
Neighboring city Jerome has seen an increase of animal surrenders by owners this year.
Jerome Animal Shelter Technician Brittney Sterling said it was shocking and hard to handle. The shelter is a 14-kennel facility that only has space to take in dogs.
Sterling said the shelter operates at full capacity the majority of the time. Due to the shelter’s limited space, it relies on the assistance of other shelters and rescue organizations to move dogs, but with an increase of animals in shelters, moving dogs became a challenge.
“We struggled with finding places for them to go because a lot of other facilities were running into the same problems we were, and they just weren't able to take in those animals," Sterling said.
Brittney Sterling utilizes Facebook to reunite dogs with their owners or to help the shelter dogs find their new homes.