MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WPDE) — Shelters across the Palmetto State are struggling to find pets a forever home, causing them to pass their capacity.
Animals are pouring through the door, adoptions are all but nonexistent and staffing and volunteers are at an all-time low.
Grand Strand Humane Society recently had more animals abandoned outside their facility and it pushed them to plead with pet owners and express their frustration.
Our runs are full, our kitty cages are doubled up and we are begging for fosters. We are forced to prioritize intakes based on the condition of the animal(s) and the circumstances surrounding their need to be surrendered. For those we can't immediately take in, we are offering medical services, free food, crates, assistance with locating pet friendly housing, temporary holding recommendations, and more. Anything we can think of to keep those animals safe.
So, when there are animals dumped at our door like Nena and Zeus, we feel so many emotions.
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A note left with the dogs says they are twins and they were dropped off in hopes of finding a new home.
"Please find them a great home. They're used to a big yard with lots of toys, snuggles treats and kisses. I tried my hardest to keep them but in the end, I couldn't," part of the note said.
Luckily, they have been adopted by a new owner and they got adopted together so they won't be separated, staff said. The dogs are believed to be chihuahua mixes and eight years old.
Staff said they understand the owners may have exhausted all of their options and must have known the dogs would be safe and loved at the shelter but wanted to stress it is not a safe way to surrender an animal.
"We have had dozens of pets abandoned around our facility over the past couple of weeks and more than once, we almost found them too late. These animals have been left in places that are not monitored 24 hours/day and in this heat, it can take just minutes for a dog or cat to overheat in a confined space."
Reasons for surrendering an animal may range from inability to afford veterinary care, behavior issues, lack of pet-friendly housing or general irresponsibility, the shelter said.
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People are asked to call the shelter at 843-457-3139 or email at email@example.com for help. If a response is not received right away, you are asked to visit in person at the Tanger Outlets location any day from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. for help.
"This is a scary time for all of us in animal welfare. This is a scary time for pet owners. If we work with one another, we will get through this together."
Over the weekend, Darlington County Humane Society said they remain in urgent status and need more animals to be adopted to make room in the shelter.
There is a desperate need for fosters for dogs over 55 pounds, staff said.
"We have some dogs and cats scheduled to leave for their Rescue Ride soon and only need to bunk with you a short time and that makes critical LIFESAVING room to help another stray from animal control."