May 23, 2024

Bowlingual Dog

Animal Planet Directory

Grant County Animal Shelter desperate for adoptions

WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. (LEX 18) — It’s a story on repeat: Animal shelters across the country are at capacity.

In Grant County, the situation became so dire on Monday that staff took to Facebook, saying, “We are out of kennels. Please claim your dogs, adopt, keep your dogs contained.”

The shelter can house around 35 dogs at a time. Monday, they received over a dozen dogs, exacerbating an already stressful situation.

For director Kathleen Ritzi, the problem mirrors that of 2010 when she was working part-time at the Grant County Animal Shelter.

“We were taking in over 2,000 animals a year,” said Ritzi. “Cats and dogs, nonstop, this place was a beehive of activity.”

Over the years, they worked tirelessly to spay and neuter the local pet population and get those numbers down.

In 2023, the shelter took in just over 600 animals, according to Ritzi.

But the pound is once again in a panic. Ritzi said the numbers have started to climb again.

“We’re getting full-blooded litters in here, it appears,” said Ritzi. “They can’t get rid of the puppies and they bring them in by the carload.”

On Monday, the Grant County Animal Shelter received 16 animals and only adopted out one dog.

“I’m always thinking of space, ‘Where am I gonna put these if we’re close to capacity?’ and ‘How can I get these animals out of here alive?’”

According to Shelter Animal Count, which tracks shelter statistics, 8% of animals at government-run or contracted shelters in Kentucky were euthanized in 2023.

Ritzi chalks it up to a mix of factors. She believes many dogs adopted during the pandemic have since been surrendered, pet costs are climbing, and “backyard breeders” have turned to animal shelters when they can’t sell all of their puppies.

“We’ve gotta keep all our avenues open,” said Ritzi. “We’ve gotta reach out to rescues, the public, gotta get these animals out there in every capacity to keep them moving so they can move onto a better life.”

Even though the odds are stacked against the animals in Grant County’s care, many left neglected, surrendered, or abandoned, Ritzi said the shelter hasn’t euthanized an animal in years.

“They didn’t ask to be here, they didn’t ask to be born, neglected or abused, or just forgotten about, but they deserve a second chance. These are good dogs.”

If you’re unable to adopt, Ritzi asks for other support. She said sharing a Facebook post about an adoptable dog can go a long way, along with spaying or neutering your own pet or making a donation to an animal shelter.

“It’s not just us, shelters everywhere are going through the same thing right now, they’re all full, they need help, and these dogs need a chance,” said Ritzi.

You can learn more about adopting at the Grant County Animal Shelter here.