MANSFIELD, Ohio — News 5 has been following through on the max capacity issues across Northeast Ohio animal shelters. The Richland County Dog Warden and Animal Shelter though said it’s reached its boiling point. The shelter has double the number of dogs, and it’s nearly impossible to keep up.
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The thunderous barks echoing inside the Richland County Dog Warden and Animal Shelter are deafening but above all, upsetting.
Potential dog adopter, Gina Fife was brought to tears Tuesday.
“Just seeing them all in cages, I just want to take them all home with me,” said Fife.
The Richland County Dog Warden and Animal Shelter is currently housing 130 dogs. 70 dogs is the shelter’s normal limit.
“Right now, we are at what we call a crisis level,” said Missy Hoghton, Dog Warden.
Houghton said she believes the surplus was created by several things like the economy and rising costs, but mainly by people not being responsible pet owners. Houghton added that by law, the shelter must continue to take in all strays regardless of capacity, but the shelter has currently stopped accepting surrenders.
“The dogs didn’t create this problem it’s a human problem,” said Houghton. “Every dog that came here had an owner at one point and their owner just failed to come and get him.”
130 dogs are becoming nearly impossible for the shelter’s three employees to handle, and one employee fears it’s starting to impact the dogs.
“It’s a lot,” said Casey Biederman, “It’s upped the amount of time it takes us to get the dogs cleaned up, more time to feed, so that means less time actually spending with the dogs. So, we see a lot of them not fairing as well as they could be.”
Currently, the shelter needs people to claim their dogs, adopt them, and donate dog food. The shelter is going through 4 50-pound bags of food a day.
“You just feel bad because this is not a good life for a dog to live,” said Houghton.
Dog food and monetary donations can be dropped off or mailed to 810 N. Home Road, Mansfield OH, 44906.
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