GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — The Guilford County Animal Shelter is nearing its maximum capacity following a surge of animal surrenders over Independence Day weekend.

While a large number of people have been surrendering their pets to Animal Services due to financial hardship, staff members say that a number of people surrendered their pets because they were going on vacation.

In response to the surge of surrenders, Animal Services began to offer free kennels and food to vacationers to keep people and their pets together. However, no one accepted these offers, and the pets were still surrendered.

Next week, the GCAS will participate in a national adoption event called “Empty the Shelters.” The GCAS will also increase its hours for adoptions and stop requiring appointments.

“With the large number of strays our officers are picking up daily, combined with the significant number of surrenders, animals are coming in faster than we can adopt them out,” said Jorge Ortega, director of GCAS. “The facility is almost full, which is very stressful. But to see animals being surrendered because people want to go on vacation is infuriating and heartbreaking for us.”