The shelter has a spread of animals obtainable for adoption. (Lauren Canterberry/Community Impact Newspaper)
As the first shelter in town, most animals which can be discovered in the New Braunfels space are delivered to the HSNBA, mentioned Executive Director Sarah Hammond, and both stay in the power or a foster residence till they discover a eternally residence. The HSNBA has a month-to-month intake capability, together with in the shelter and foster houses, of about 300 animals, Hammond mentioned, a quantity that has been repeatedly surpassed in latest months.
“During the pandemic when so many of us were stuck home our intake was down,” Hammond mentioned. “For the last probably three months we have had 100 more animals in care than we are used to in previous years.”
On Sept. 27, the HSNBA reported having 196 animals in the shelter and 250 in foster care. Between Sept. 1-27, 119 cats and 271 canine have been delivered to HSNBA, placing extra pressure on the power.
In July 2021, the HSNBA took in 433 animals in comparison with 426 in July 2020, however Hammond says there are considerably extra younger cats and canine being introduced into the power than is typical.
“The number of young animals coming into the shelter is much higher than it usually is, and it’s causing a problem,” Hammond mentioned. “Especially because they come in so young. It’d be one thing if they were of age and I could fix them and get them adopted out right away.”
Because animals have to be a number of months outdated to be sterilized safely, Hammond mentioned kittens and puppies have to attend on the shelter or in a foster residence for longer earlier than being eligible for adoption.
In an effort to stop the overpopulation of animals in the area, the HSNBA spays or neuters all animals earlier than they’re adopted, Hammond mentioned.
Hammond believes that some residents could have taken in stray animals throughout the early months of the coronavirus pandemic however didn’t have them sterilized whereas services have been closed or as a result of of lockdown restrictions.
“Not only are we [the shelter] exploding, but the community is exploding with folks who are trying to keep animals out of the shelter,” Hammond mentioned. “But bottom line if those animals don’t get fixed, you’re only causing more of a problem for us later.”
The HSNBA additionally companions with the New Braunfels Community Cat Coalition and the Comal County Veterinary Medical Association to function The Goodwin Center for Community Cats, which goals to scale back the euthanasia of native feral cats.
The program started in 2016 and permits residents or animal management personnel to lure feral cats, ship them to the shelter to be vaccinated and sterilized by volunteer veterinarians after which returned to the place they have been captured without charge to residents, Hammond mentioned.
Though there aren’t any present plans to broaden the shelter itself, the HSNBA is working so as to add a spay and neuter facility on its property, although the mission remains to be in the allowing course of, Hammond mentioned. The facility would offer more room for sterilization and veterinary care operations.
“A bigger shelter only lets me hold more animals for longer; that’s not a solution,” Hammond mentioned. “The solution is reducing the intake of animals in the first place.”
Ultimately, Hammond mentioned that educating the general public in regards to the significance of sterilizing pets, encouraging accountable pet possession and discovering protected houses are the perfect methods to lower the quantity of animals in the shelter system.
“Despite it all, we were still rocking, you know; we’re still getting by,” Hammond mentioned. “This is just one of those times where the overcrowding is hurting us to the point where we really needed to reach out for help.”