Athens animal shelter beyond capacity, new homes urgently needed

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) - A sudden influx of abandoned, stray and unwanted dogs and cats are showing up at the Athens-Limestone Animal Shelter. Managers say pens are almost full and some animals may have to be put down if new or temporary foster homes aren't found.

The director of the Athens shelter says for the past few weeks it seems every time a dog or cat is adopted out, two more come in the door. They're almost at full capacity.

"We're just getting lots of owner turn-in's and strays," according to Priscilla Blenkinsopp, Athens Limestone Animal Shelter Director.

People moving, going through a divorce, dealing with injuries or illness, a long list of reasons, but the end result is they cannot take care of their pet any longer and they wind up here. And when the shelter runs out of room, it's the animals who pay the ultimate price.

"We even ask that people in our community foster for us for a week or two before they can go to rescue. We've got lots of rescues up north we send every couple of weeks. Just a two week foster for some of the animals would be great."

That would keep them alive.

There are no fees to foster an animal. They prefer homes with a fenced yard and a little love and attention from the foster parents until a permanent home can be found. And if you happen to have a little room in your home and your heart, one of these little guys would be glad to show you the meaning of unconditional love.

The adoption fee is $110 for dogs and cats. That includes having the animal fixed, as well as all shots and medical records. There are no fees to provide a temporary foster home for one of these animals.

Post note… We learned late Tuesday evening the shelter received approximately 30 new, unwanted animals Tuesday afternoon. The need to find homes for these animals, even temporary foster homes, is critical.


  • Jeanne

    Is it possible that the adoption fee be reduced? I think more adoptions would b possible if it weren’t so expensive. I know money is needed, but if turn over was faster and donations sought perhaps more pets could be placed

  • tina

    I agree. it only cost me $35 to get my dog and cat fixed. why charge so much? u would rather see them die than give them to a loving family for the cost of a rabies shot. doesn’t make much sense if u really love animals. the spay n neutering should be left up to the owners. because it can obviously be done cheaper. and my lactating mom cat disappeared leaving 6 starving kittens behind. I don’t consider this a rescue. I think of it as stealing a mother away from her babies that she was feeding. yes she got out when the door opened, but did the babies deserve to lose their mommy because someone wanted to “rescue” a cat that was absolutely harmless and loving. sorry but I do not agree with this rescue bologna.


    The reason many don’t consider being a foster home is because they fear becoming too attached to the dog or cat. For animals with rescues lined up, if these folks could only realize they are truly a temporary stop, a stepping stone, to safety and forever homes, they might consider it. Just a few weeks of food, care, and attention equals a saved life. There’s a question many foster parents ask of those who say they’d be sad to say goodbye to their temporary boarder: would you rather be sad knowing that same loving, healthy, happy animal was now dead and in the landfill? Because, that is often the choice. And, if it makes a difference, monies spent for foster care can be tax deductible.

Comments are closed.