Pearl River SPCA copes with overcrowding

Published 9:37 am Wednesday, June 28, 2023

The Pearl River County SPCA provides a home to animals waiting to be adopted by their forever families. Over the past year, the SPCA has been dealing with overcrowding, housing nearly 200 animals in a shelter that was meant to hold 80.

According to Beth Treadaway, the shelter director at the Pearl River County SPCA, puppies always get their own kennel to quarantine for diseases. The overcrowding issue comes into play with adult dogs.

“We like to house them 2 to a kennel; 2 to a kennel is what we like, but it’s been 4 to a kennel for over a year now,” said Treadaway.

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This impacts the workers and volunteers who work with the animals because they “don’t get to spend that one-on-one time with the dogs” due to the larger number.

Angel, a dog up for adoption from the Pearl River SPCA.

The number of kennel mates affects the dogs as well, as they can become overly excited or irritated with one another over time.

“Sometimes excitement is a good thing, but all day every day is pretty overwhelming,” said Treadaway.

Overcrowding in animal shelters has been an issue all over the country since 2021, with some shelters citing the COVID-19 pandemic as a source of the issue, as owners return their “pandemic pets” once they had to return to work.

In some cases, shelters across the country are being forced to reconsider euthanasia to ease the overcrowding. The Pearl River SPCA, fortunately, has other options, including waiving adoption fees and assisting pet owners in their rehoming process.

“I can’t house every animal, but I can help get your pet fixed or up to date on vaccines; we can do our best to figure out a way to rehome on your own,” said Treadaway.

With this solution, pet owners who need to rehome their companions can make sure their pets are healthy and happy before going to the next family.

Another option on the table is fostering. At the Pearl River SPCA, anyone interested can foster a pet for a day. Volunteers can sign their names, leave their licenses and pick a dog or cat to spend the day with. The SPCA provides pet food and necessary items for the animals.

“All pets are vaccinated, dewormed and spayed or neutered,” said Treadaway.

Those interested in becoming a foster parent or considering can visit the Pearl River County SPCA at 1700 Palestine Rd or call (601) 798-8000.