Too many unwanted animals and no place for them to go. It's a reality in most every animal shelter in our area.
Some shelters are so overwhelmed, they have a 75% kill rate. That means when four animals go in, only one comes out.
It inspired WFMY News 2 to hold a roundtable discussion with some of our area shelters to pinpoint the problems and talk about solutions.
"We're doing a lot of pilot projects if you want to call it, just trying to test to see what is going to work in Guilford County, what can work," said Jorge Ortega from Guilford County.
Shelters across our area are in the peak of overcrowding season. Directors from county shelters in Guilford, Forsyth, Rockingham, Davidson and the city of Burlington are seeing a lot of the same problems: not enough spayed and neutered animals, too many surrenders and an overabundance of feral cats.
"We just can't seem to get any kind of public outreach going to let people know that these feral cats or stray cats are ok, but you've got to control their numbers," said Candi Lewis of Davidson County.
The roundtable discussion also focused on each shelter's goals, which are very similar.
"I think what we're all working towards is trying to save more and not euthanize for space,” said Sarah Williamson of Forsyth County. “We want every adoptable, healthy animal to go to a loving home, which is why we need to have fewer of them in our community."
It all comes down to one common problem: too many unwanted animals.
"You can have all the progressive programs in place, you can have the veterinary staff, you can have medical, you can have the foster program,” said Ortega. “It's really about managing the numbers coming into the shelter."
But there is a bright spot in some counties. Many people are willing to foster.
"We had 600 animals in foster homes last month and for perspective, our two shelters have about 300 kennel spaces so that's two more shelters out in our community," said Williamson.
If you'd like to foster in your county, just contact your local shelter. You can also help by donating food or volunteering to walk the animals. The group plans to meet again soon.
Watch the replay of the entire roundtable discussion here.