ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) - There is an emergency at the Athens Limestone Animal Shelter. It is full, beyond capacity. That means animals are having to be euthanized in order to make room for more.
Here's what you can do to prevent even more animals from being put to sleep.
There are no empty pens here at the shelter, no room at the inn. In fact, a few of the pens have two and three dogs housed in them. The same is true for the cats. Some of the halls are lined with portable pens to help house the overflow. People are turning in dogs and cats that they no longer want or can no longer keep.
"We normally have a lot after Christmas, people turning in puppies that they got for Christmas and decided they didn't want to keep 'em, but not ever has it been this many after Christmas or after the holidays," says shelter director, Priscille Blenkinsopp.
And so with more coming in than are going out, Priscilla and her crew have to go down the list and decide which of these animals will be given a few more days to plead for a new home, and which ones have run out of time.
"A lot of times the older dogs won't get adopted as much as a puppy would. We just have to go through and find the least adoptable animals," Blenkinsopp says.
The shelter is pleading now for people to consider adopting, or even fostering an animal for a few weeks until other arrangements can be made. Because there's no room right now, those tough decisions have to be made almost every day. And for some of these animals, time is running out.
To foster a dog, the shelter looks for homes with a fenced in yard, and if you already have pets they would need to be up to date on their shots and either spayed or neutered. There's no fee to foster an animal.