DURHAM, NC (WNCN) – For the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Durham County Animal Shelter is over capacity with cats and kittens.
The shelter, run by the non-profit Animal Protection Society of Durham located at 2117 E Club Blvd., currently has 181 cats and has the capacity to hold 120 cats.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve experienced an in-house population like we have now,” said Shafonda Davis, executive director of APS.
Davis said the summer is breeding season is likely to blame for the increase in the cat population in the shelter.
She said the good news is they do not have a shortage of people in Durham wanting to adopt.
“Our backup is getting those animals ready to go to them,” Davis said.
Davis said the shelter only has enough funds to have one veterinarian on staff who is responsible for all 480 animals who are currently in the shelter or who are in foster care.
She said this one staff member is responsible for spaying and neutering the animals before they can be adopted.
“She’s really working around the clock to get these animals ready to go on the adoption floor,” Davis said.
Davis said since they have an overpopulation of cats, it’s taking longer for the veterinarian to get all of these animals ready to be adopted.
“To speed up the process we just need manpower, and we need resources to provide that manpower,” Davis said.
More funds could allow the shelter to hire more staff or outsource some of the work to local veterinarians.
“If you own a veterinary practice and if you are able to offer services to a shelter partner, or if you’re a veterinarian and you have one day off or two days off that you’d like to volunteer, please contact us,” Davis said.
Davis said half the shelter is funded by donations to the Animal Protection Society of Durham and the other half is funded by Durham County.
“We’re getting lots of support from our county commissioners, but you can always use more,” Davis said.
Davis said it is also up to the community to help control the pet population.
“What needs to happen ideally is that we get a handle on the cat population, that we would start some effective trap-neuter-vaccinate programs,” Davis said. “I think many of these cats belong to people, at some point so we do need to be diligent about making sure animals have tags, microchips, and making sure we can get them back home.”
If you would like to help out the Durham County Animal Shelter or adopt a pet, go to their website.