Animal shelters urge owners to spay, neuter | News, Sports, Jobs – Journal Global Online

Adoption specialist Robin Marohnic is shown with Henry (Rottweiler), a current shelter dog at the Delta County Animal Shelter. (Courtesy photo via the Escanaba Daily Press)

ESCANABNA — Puppies and kittens are cute, but we don’t need any more of them.

Animal shelters across the country are overwhelmed and overcrowded — putting stress on veterinarians, animal shelters and the pets themselves.

According to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals PETA, on any given day there are roughly 70 million dogs and cats who are homeless and struggling to survive. According to PETA, strays are a “result of people’s failure to spay and neuter their animal companions, allowing them to bring more animals into a world that already has more dogs and cats than there are loving homes for them.”

Because humans have domesticated cats and dogs, they are dependent on people to fulfill their basic needs such as food, water, veterinary care and safety.

Shelter Director/Team Leader Patrica at the Eva Burrell Animal Shelter said that the amount of strays they take in is ‘ever-changing’ as strays are surrendered consistently.

“This problem is way bigger than people realize,” she said.

She said that the majority of strays surrendered or found and brought in to Eva Burrell are not altered. Patricia said that part of the reason for owners not fixing their companions (especially dogs) is because of the associated stigma. She spoke about interactions with owners who refuse to fix their male dogs because the males are not the ‘ones having babies’.

Whatever people’s reasoning may be, not fixing pets and allowing them to continue to breed puts pressure on local shelters.

“This is a people problem, not a shelter problem,” Patricia said.

Delta County Animal Shelter also spoke about what it is seeing at its shelter. The Shelter Operations Manager Vonnie Bruce said that generally, the stray animals they take in are not fixed – the same situation that Eva Burrell has to deal with.

Of the animals at Delta County, the cats tend to be strays brought in and dogs are typically surrendered by an owner. Bruce said of the animals that Delta County receives, the majority of cats do not get picked up while dogs have a much better chance of being picked up by an owner.

Both shelters said that certain dogs such as pit bulls or aggressive breeds are hard to get adopted. Some animals are simply looked over based on their appearance or age.

“We always urge not to judge a book by its cover, you never know until meeting a dog who could be the perfect fit for you and sometimes it may surprise you. Senior animals do also tend to sit at the shelter longer waiting to be adopted, while we understand it can be tough to take in (an) older pet it can also be the most rewarding thing to do,” Bruce said.

The Delta County Shelter currently has room for 26 dogs, once the number is reached, the shelter will go on a waitlist.

“It is not often that we hit capacity for cats but we do tend to get busier in spring/summertime due to kitten season and may also sometimes have to go on a waitlist for owner-surrendered cats. We always take strays,” Bruce added.

Patrica said that Eva Burrell uses ‘colony rooms’ for cats, so the capacity depends on the personalities of the cats. Eva Burrell also relies on foster homes to assist with housing for the cats.

One of the best ways to ensure that are your pets fixed is to adopt through shelters such as Delta or Eva Burrell.

“Our animals are altered before adoption, or the adopter is given a certificate to spay and neuter through Thompson Vet Clinic at mostly our expense,” Patricia said. Shopping for pets can leave the buyer responsible for microchipping, vaccinations and altering which can cost several hundred dollars. Adopting from a local shelter can mitigate these costs according to Bruce.

“If spaying (or) neutering a new pet is not within a pet owners price range, we would recommend adopting from a shelter as animals are fixed prior to adoption and adoption fees are very affordable considering all that is included,” Bruce said.

Bruce and Patrica both expressed the need for spaying and neutering, saying that just fixing one animal can help alleviate the problem.

“If even one animal is spayed or neutered, it’s a win,” Patricia said.

Both shelters are constantly looking for support from the public, whether that be monetary donations or supplies.

Deltas’ wishlist can be found at

Eva Burrells’ Chewy and Amazon wishlist can be found at

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