AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Amarillo's city animal shelter is at full capacity, putting more animals at risk of euthanasia.
In January alone, 886 animals were turned over to the shelter, 557 were adopted or rescued and 212 were put down.
Waiving adoption fees and hosting special events doesn't seem to be enough to find homes for all the animals in the care of Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare.
Hundreds of animals are living at the city shelter, and many will be euthanized before they get a chance to find a home.
"We exist due to an irresponsible community," said Richard Havens, Director of Animal Management and Welfare. "Their animals are not fixed. We see lots of puppies. Even right now we have several litters of puppies here because people did not get their animals fixed so we have 8, 9, 10 puppies at a time. And any time you have large quantities like that that's gonna take up multiple cages."
Havens said owner surrenders are very common. Some people simply do not want to care for their animals anymore, and drop them off at the shelter.
Right now, up to four dogs are sharing kennels, depending on their sizes and breeds.
"The Humane Society is working diligently around the clock to get the animals out of here to rescues," said Havens. "And one of the sad things is there are other communities that embrace our animals more than we do. Amarillo really needs to embrace the animals that are here in our community."
With the shelter so full, dogs have to be euthanized two days a week, and cats are euthanized five days a week.
Havens admitted the staff gets attached to these animals, and euthanasia is hard for them to do but necessary for the shelter.
"[These animals are] not disposable," said Havens. "They're not. They have emotions. They have personalities. Each one is unique to itself. Animals are special to themselves, but all the animals here are special together."
Saturday, Feb. 6, Animal Management and Welfare is waiving reclaim fees for animals. This does not include rabies shots, microchipping and any associated medical bills incurred on the animal's behalf.