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Local animal rescue groups overwhelmed by number of animals coming in

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Local private animal rescue groups claim Guilford County Animal Services’ managed intake policy is creating issues of abandonment and overwhelming their foster homes.

Director Jorge Ortega said the policy has been in place for about a year, before he took office. Ortega said it’s helps to manage the number of animals coming into the shelter by having owners make an appointment to surrender.

“If we did not have the managed intake process then we would just be inundated and we could not put that animal on the right path to protect him or her from catching any diseases in this very stressful environment,” Ortega said.

Tammy Graves, with the Haley Graves Foundation, and Alison Schwartz, with Almost Home Dachshund Rescue Society, said they’ve had a major increase in the number of surrendered animals.

“Our intake has been quadrupled than in previous years so the needs have just exceeded the structure we have,” Schwartz said.

Many said they could not wait to make an appointment with Guilford County Animal Services.

“We understand that you can’t get them into the shelter but dumping isn't the answer wither because they meet a terrible fate,” Graves said.

Ortega said he has not seen an increase in abandonment cases since the managed intake policy has been in place and that the shelter makes exceptions for animals needing emergency medical attention.

He is open to an annual evaluation of the policy but is interested in finding specific solutions to serve the community.

“We were awarded an innovative grant, which we were awarded that’s going to start allowing us to go into specific communities based on the data, based on our call volume from animal control from the last couple of years and identify those hot spots where we’re getting a lot of calls," Ortega said.

One solution that the public can partake in is spaying and neutering their animals.

The shelter's current population is close to 300 dogs and cats.

“I wouldn't say that it is a fault in the shelter,” Schwartz said. “Our community needs to do better. We have an absolute pet overpopulation issue here and its a shame because we have a big animal loving community.”

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