Local animal shelter faces overcrowding

Torrey Perkins/The News Students Evie Swanson and Shannon MacAllister play with the puppies at the Murray-Calloway County Animal Shelter.

Statistically, a female dog and her puppies are capable of multiplying to more than 67,000 dogs in a matter of just six years. This is one of the points the Murray-Calloway County Shelter is trying to get across to pet owners in an effort to get more animals spayed and neutered.

As of right now, the animal shelter is holding between 20 and 30 dogs as well as a very large number of cats within its facilities. Although that number may not seem particularly high in comparison with the number of animals the shelter is equipped hold, that number is far too many.

According to the website, the shelter is almost always operating at full capacity even though it has a high turnover rate. Both life-long pet owners and community members who find strays are able to bring the animals in to the open-admission shelter.

“The main problem with an overflow of animals is because people do not get their animals spayed and neutered,” Carolyn Williams, an employee at the shelter, said. “For every one dog that does not get spayed, 100 more come back in.”

To adopt an animal the person interested must be 21 years old. The cost to adopt is $20.

“Making sure that the animals adopted go to a good home is a very high priority for the shelter,” Williams said.

Applicants for adoption must be approved by the board and then must agree to have the animal spayed or neutered soon after the adoption is finalized, she said.

In addition to a low adoption cost, the shelter offers options to make the adoption process easier for future pet owners.

One option for adoptors is to put a deposit down for the price of the spay or neuter procedure and then once the procedure is completed the shelter will refund the money put down to the pet owner after a form has been filled out and returned by the veterinarian. This option is called Spay Neuter Animal shelter Program (SNAP).

Another low-cost option available for pet owners who adopt from the animal shelter is the application for spay or neuter assistance. If approved, the shelter will pay for 25 percent of the cost and a participating Calloway County veterinarian will pay for 25 percent of the cost to spay or neuter the animal.

In the shelter’s mission statement it says the purpose of the shelter is to provide immediate shelter and care for any homeless or abused animals within Calloway County until these animals find new homes or return home.

By making the public and Murray State students aware of the overflow of animals and the procedures to get the animals spayed or neutered, fewer animals will end up in a shelter and more will be in loving homes.


Story by Breanna Sill, Contributing Writer