DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - On an average day, the Decatur Animal Shelter will take in as many as 10 dogs and cats. Some of them are strays, and others can no longer be cared for by their owners for whatever the reason. But on Monday, a record 53 animals were dropped off at the shelter. Now shelter operators are scrambling to find them homes so they won't have to be put to sleep.
Decatur Animal Services Director Carol Wicks walked us through the shelter to see the animals for ourselves.
"That's Bam-Bam. Bam-Bam is a Border Collie-Lab mix, about four months old. She's got ears that make her look like she could fly," Wicks explained.
Bam-Bam could not possibly understand why she is suddenly living behind bars. But on Monday, she and 52 other dogs and cats were dropped off at the Decatur Animal Shelter. Never before have so many animals been discarded here during the course of just one day.
Because this is an animal control facility, there's no such thing as a full house. If 53 dogs come in the door one day, they have to find room for them, one way or the other.
"One person brought in 15 animals and surrendered them," Wicks told WHNT News 19. "Obviously they did not spay or neuter their pets and they in turn had a litter of, I think, seven which they did not want. So all of those animals were turned into us."
Animals that are turned in by their owners can be evaluated immediately and put up for adoption. Strays are held for seven days to give their owners time to find and reclaim them. Wicks says they go to great lengths to keep from euthanizing animals, especially just to make space. But 53 in one day lowers the odds for a lot of sad faces.
"Sometimes the animals that have been here the longest are the ones we have to make tough decisions about."
Wicks says she hopes people might be moved to adopt a dog or cat, or maybe even help sponsor an animal by paying a portion of it's adoption fee and increasing the odds that it'll find a new home.
The Decatur Animal Shelter works with rescue groups all over the country in an effort to find homes for their animals. A few of the animals brought in this week have already been shipped off to no-kill shelters in Huntsville and in Birmingham.
If you're interested in adopting an animal, Decatur Animal Services is located at 300A Beltline Road SW, Decatur, AL 35601. The phone number is (256) 341-4790. Here is more information online.