COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Central Missouri Humane Society said Monday its kennels are nearing capacity.
CMHS has the capacity to hold 150 animals and there are now only two kennels left.
Pet overpopulation is an ongoing issue in Missouri, according to the Humane Society of Missouri. The Central Missouri Humane Society says its shelter housed 1,460 animals from January to July. Of those animals, 454 were owner surrenders and 72 were adoption returns.
According to CMHS Associate Director Michelle Casey, there has been a big drop in foster parents since the pandemic.
"We did notice a big drop off on foster parents. And that's really the big impact right now is we just have a lack of foster parents that are available to take animals at the moment," Casey said. "With the pandemic, there were so many people that were staying home and working from home and so made it really convenient to have a pet at home with you. But once everyone went back to work, we definitely noticed that we didn't have as many fosters that were available."
CMHS is the only open-door shelter in Boone County and is struggling to find available kennel space for new animals, according to a press release. This means that the shelter takes in all animals regardless of age, breed or temperament.
"As of Monday, almost every single kennel in the shelter had been filled," the organizations said.
According to Casey, the organization has been housed in the same facility since 1976 and part of the issue is that they have outgrown the building they are in.
"The population of Columbia has nearly doubled since this building was built, so there's a much greater need in the community. So one thing that definitely is holding us back is this building that we're in," Casey said. "And so we're hopeful that in the future, we're gonna get a new facility that's going to have more space and will allow us to make a bigger impact in this community."
The shelter is participating in a national adoption event -- Clear the Shelters -- and is also offering a Block Party adoption special in hopes that more people will consider adopting. The shelter also asks that the public consider fostering in order to free up more kennels.
For August, the shelter is waiving the adoption fees for all blocky-headed dogs and those who have been at the shelter for more than 30 days. All animals at CMHS are spayed or neutered, have their vaccinations and are microchipped before adoption.
The shelter encourages the public to consider fostering so that CMHS can make room for more animals in need. The organization makes sure that foster parents have everything they need to take care of the animals.
"When it comes to fostering, we provide all the supplies and you just provide the love," Casey said. "So even if you just have a weekend free or a few days that you're able to take an animal home temporarily, it'll make a huge, huge difference for us."
The organization also ran out of kennel space in May.