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Shelters, rescues stressed with rise in animal intakes & owner-surrenders

taw tulsa animal welfare
Posted at 6:32 PM, Jun 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 09:37:06-04

TULSA, Okla. — Oklahoma’s animal shelters and rescues are strained. They are seeing more people wanting to surrender their pets, and this is happening during an already busy season for intakes.

They call this time of year kitten and puppy season. Yesterday, Tulsa Animal Welfare took in 44 animals. Half of them are kittens.

“This is that time of year where they breed, and we just see an overwhelming number of kittens come into the shelter,” Kristin Barney said, director of operations for TAW’s shelter embed program.

SEE MORE: GALLERY: Shelters, rescues stressed with rise in animal intakes & owner-surrenders

Some of the influx also comes from pet owners who have unwanted litters. In Skiatook, the Paws and Claws Animal Rescue is backlogged on owner-surrender intakes. They have a waiting list that is close to 100 names long.

“There’s something to be blamed probably on the pandemic,” said Erin Shackelford, executive director of the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals.

“Animals that went out of the system are now back in the system. Spay and neuter is still such a huge issue here in Oklahoma. There aren’t the resources that we need. There are some educational limitations in a lot of rural communities about the importance of spay and neuter.”

Rural communities keep the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals busy. There are few options for animal control in those areas, like Locust Grove. This week, eight dogs were rescued from a tin shed there.

“The temperature was reaching around 120 degrees. The dogs had unfresh water. It was kind of green and molding,” Shackelford said.

They do not know how the dogs survived, but now they will need fosters and, eventually, a permanent home.

Through Sunday, the adoption fee at TAW is only $10. That price still includes vaccinations and neuter.

For those who prefer fostering over adopting, foster homes are desperately needed. Supplies are provided to fosters by both TAW and the OAA.


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