Following a recent influx of cats and dogs, the San Diego County Department of Animal Services' two shelters are nearly full, and department officials are asking the public to consider adopting or fostering animals.
"The department is committed to finding a home for every healthy and treatable animal that comes through our doors and that is why we are seeking the public's help to adopt," said Kelly Campbell, department director. "We also have an urgent need for foster care. We will never euthanize for time or space, but our longer-stay animals would be so much happier in a home environment than in the shelters."
Clear the Shelters
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Animal Services is offering several discounts: Adoption fees are waived for adult cats six months and older, with $25 adoption fees for kittens; and $25 adoption fees for pit bulls/pit mixes and huskies/husky mixes.
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Additionally, all animals who have been in the shelter for 30 days or more will have their adoption fees waived. All the adopted animals will be spayed or neutered and microchipped before they go home. Vaccinations will also be up to date on dogs and cats.
Recently, the department took in more than 50 cats from a single owner, Campbell said. This contributed to the shelter capacity issue.
"We were happy to step in and help," Campbell said. "There are plenty of really lovely cats and some teenage kittens that would make great companions and some that just need a little time and a little love to come out of their shells."
Of those cats, two large male cats have vision impairment, one tabby is completely blind -- but friendly -- and the other, a snowshoe Siamese, may still retain some vision. Campbell said blind cats can thrive really well in their home once they get acclimated in their environment to the point that most people wouldn't even know they were blind.
As for dogs, Campbell said there are also plenty, and it is never an ideal situation for a dog to be sitting in a kennel for any length of time since it can contribute to kennel stress or longer-term behavioral challenges.
She said if people are willing to adopt, a forever home is always the ideal situation, but if people are unable to do that but can provide temporary care and shelter for a dog or cat, that help is welcome since animals do significantly better in a home environment compared to a shelter one.
As a third option, animal services is also seeking volunteers that can come into the shelters and help socialize animals or help with laundry or other tasks that allow animal care attendants to focus on the pets, or to train to become specialized disaster response volunteers, saving animals affected by disasters.
Click here for details on how to volunteer.
Animal services continue to offer "touchless adoptions" for the safety of customers and staff.