Overcrowding an issue at Davidson County Animal Shelter

DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- An animal shelter already at capacity is expecting even more animals over the July Fourth holiday. Staff at the Davidson County Animal Shelter say they could take in 20 to 30 pets throughout the week, most taken in as strays.

Rescue Coordinator Candi Lewis said Tuesday that some animals can't tolerate loud fireworks and they may run away if they aren't secured.

“They get scared, they get spooked, they will take off, they run to get away from the sounds. Dogs' ears are so sensitive, cats ears as well, so we’re going to have a high influx of animals coming in mostly as strays within the next couple of days because of these fireworks,” she said.

She urges owners to keep their pets inside and suggests putting on a TV or radio to help drown out the noise.

The shelter is full due to a high surrender rate and "kitten season." Lewis says the shelter can hold 125 cats, and they are already nearing 100. Staff posted a sign outside warning anyone considering surrendering their pet that animals may be euthanized within 24 hours.

“Even if it stops just one animal from coming in this door, we’re gonna keep that sign up,” Lewis said.

She asks pet owners needing to surrender their pets to contact a rescue group to help before coming to the shelter. She said shelters should be a last resort for a surrender.

Lewis added that staff members are fostering animals themselves, but they need help.

“We need rescue help, we need foster homes for these kittens until they’re big enough and old enough for spaying/neutering because we can’t go over capacity,” she said.

Find more details about the shelter and rescue efforts here.