Already over capacity for dogs, the county animal shelter has issued an emergency foster notice, anticipating another surge of dogs will arrive after the July Fourth holiday.
There are currently 67 dogs at the shelter, which has 62 dog kennels, said Andrea Liddie, shelter supervisor for the San Luis Obispo County Animal Services. And typically the Fourth of July brings even more dogs because several run away from home, frightened by fireworks.
“We do recommend that you have them inside, where at least it’s quieter,” Liddie said. Sometimes, she added, dogs will run away while their owners are out watching fireworks somewhere else.
When the shelter gets crowded — some dogs are now sharing kennels — the staff sends out an emergency foster notice via e-mail.
“We have a list of fosters, which are volunteers who have agreed to take animals home from the shelter,” she said.
The volunteers agree to house the animals until space opens up, which could be just a couple of days, Liddie said.
Liddie said pet owners should make sure their animals have identification tags, which will make it easier to find them if they are lost. And she recommends anyone with a lost pet call the shelter right away.
There is only one shelter in the county — located off Highway 1 between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay — so owners looking for lost pets should look there, even if they live far away, Liddie said.
While cats aren’t at capacity — there are currently 68 cats and 78 cages — this is typically a busy time of year for felines. “It’s kitten season right now,” Liddie said. “Cats tend to have kittens this time of year.”
The shelter currently has several kittens and a couple of puppy litters, many too young for adoption. It also has two guinea pigs, two rabbits, one parakeet and seven roosters.
If someone brings in an animal when the shelter is full, the staff will contact nearby Woods Humane Society to see if it can accept adoptable animals or board some. As a last resort, the staff might euthanize animals with medical or behavioral issues that make them less likely to be adopted.
The shelter will be closed for Independence Day but will re-open Saturday. The lost and found line for the shelter is 781-4407. The volunteer line is 781-4413.