Metro Animal Shelter in dire need of fosters, adopters

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Gracie Johnson

Summer is always chaotic for animal shelters, and this one is no different for the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter.

What’s new is the animal influx and close proximity they’re forced into because overcrowding is causing illness among dogs and cats staying at the shelter.

If more people could foster or adopt, shelter workers said, fewer animals would wind up getting sick.

“We see a similar cycle,” said Metro Animal Shelter Director Jennifer Earps. “It’s high intake during the summer and it lasts until about October.”

Adding in another complication is rising inflation. As family expenses go up, more people find they can’t afford pets. That means more intakes and fewer adoptions.

“With the rising costs associated with almost everything right now, fewer people are adopting, and we are left with, you know, what do we do?” Earps said.

So this week, shelter employees took to social media for help.

This summer, Metro is seeing many animals in poor condition, suffering injuries or illness.

The shelter only has so many isolation kennels, and without a way to keep the animals separated, illnesses can spread rapidly throughout the shelter.

Not to mention, the costs for treatment add up.

What Metro needs most right now, Earps said, is temporary foster parents.

“Short-term fosters can alleviate some of the stress on the animal and the shelter, and they can be treated a lot faster outside of a shelter environment,” said Earps.

Foster parents must be at least 19, and the shelter provides food, litter, medication, vet treatment and anything else a pet might need. Fosters provide transportation to and from the shelter and vet appointments along with a loving, safe home for animals awaiting adoption. You can learn more about fostering through Metro right here.

If you’re unable to open your home to animals in need, you could also consider donating your time, items in need or money to the shelter. Learn more about donations right here.

But the most important thing you can possibly do to help cut down on animals in shelters is getting your pets spayed or neutered. If cost is an issue, low-cost spay-neuter programs exist. You can learn more about programs in the area right here.

Categories: Featured, Local News