Stuck in the Shelter: Adoptions decrease while number of pets coming to shelters increases

So far this year, in just 131 days, Great Plains SPCA has taken in more than 1,000 animals.
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 9:46 PM CDT
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MERRIAM, Kan. (KCTV) - A growing number of pets are coming into overcrowded shelters in 2022 while the number of adoptions has decreased.

Staff at Great Plains SPCA are making a plea for help from community members to adopt, foster and volunteer to help give animals a break from the shelter.

Around the country, shelters have reported adoptions have slowed during the third year of the pandemic. So far this year, in just 131 days, Great Plains SPCA has taken in more than 1,000 animals.

On Thursday, Great Plains SPCA CEO Tam Singer showed KCTV5 News several animals that have been in the shelter for lengthy stays.

“We have 30 animals that have been here 100 days or more,” Singer said. “That’s significant in terms of the stress for those animals and what they face. We have a best-in-class shelter but it’s still a shelter. They are still in kennels.”

Singer said one dog named Brodie has been in the shelter for more than 200 days despite what staff describe as “the best ears in town.”

“He is an absolute loving, loyal, house-trained, fabulous dog but he is one of many dogs like that,” Singer said.

Smaller dogs are often adopted within a little more than a week, but larger dogs are often overlooked and left stressed living in a noisy shelter environment.

“You can see in their body language that it is stressful for them,” Singer said.

Great Plains SPCA is turning to community members to ask those who are interested to consider adopting, fostering, or furloughing an animal. During an animal furlough, volunteers take a shelter animal home for the night. Staff are also looking for volunteers to take shelter pets on Dog Day Out trips to local parks.

“There are so many people that can help but maybe don’t know how to help,” Singer said. “The biggest way people can help is get involved with the shelter. They are great pets. They are just waiting for their forever homes.”

Because of the recent decrease in adoptions and increase in animals arriving at the shelter, Great Plains SPCA is hosting a Zoom call Tuesday, May 17 at 5 p.m. for anyone interested in learning how they can support the shelter.

Link to join the Zoom meeting:

Meeting ID: 821 4109 9107

Passcode: 976614