DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (WMBB) — June is proving to be a critical month for the Walton County animal shelter. The kennels are full of dogs and cats ready to be adopted or fostered.
People turned in more than 115 animals in just one week, shelter officials said. The majority were surrendered by the owners.
“We definitely are getting more owner surrenders at this time. Again, that doesn’t help us. It just takes up more of the space that we need for the other animals that need us too,” said Patty Weingartner, Animal Services Manager.
The county built the shelter in 2009. It only has 80 dog kennels and a bit more cat kennels. That means they’re having to double or triple up the spaces to keep the animals alive.
“We can never say no. We can never close our doors. So we only have finite space and we just have to keep in taking,” said Weingartner.
The shelter has been no-kill for the last few years. Staff members hope the community and local rescues can come to help them stay that way.
“If we run out of space, they run out of time,” said Weingartner.”The biggest thing is going to be adoptions. That’s how we open a kennel. So adoptions are our main goal right now.”
The overcrowded conditions are so sad and discouraging that some volunteers have stopped coming in.
“There are just so many unwanted animals right now, and it’s everywhere,” said Weingartner.
The shelter works with animals to make sure they are good for families and other dogs. Cooper, a 6-year mix, is one of the longest residents that’s available for adoption.
“Come take a look. Don’t be afraid of a shelter. Come and look at the animals. Cats, kittens, dogs. Give them a chance,” said Weingartner.
The shelter is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 to 4.
Animals available for adoption will be at the Freeport Farmers Market outside of the high school on Saturday, June 3. Adoption fees are $25 for each animal, including shots and vet clearance.