Recent hoarding cases add to increase in animal intake at Washington Co. SPCA

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Washington County, Oklahoma – The Washington County SPCA encourages pet owners to spay and neuter their animals after seeing an increase in the number of animals brought to the shelter.

Two recent hoarding cases have added more than 70 cats to the shelter. Not only does it tire them out with cats, but it becomes a financial burden as well.

In both cases, the owner went to clean up a rental property that had been vacated and discovered that it still had residents.

“By the time it was all said and done, many of the cats were pregnant and had kittens. So, the cat population was over 70,” said Tonya Pete, Washington County SPCA executive director.

WCSSPCA has received more than 2,000 animals so far this year. More than half of these were cats. In situations where several are brought at once, it is difficult to find a place.

Pete said, “We have a limited number of cages. So, when we deal with an issue like this, it’s like we’re going to put them all in?”

Pete said the shelter tries to take care of as many animals as possible and takes some to pet stores.

Overall, they’ve seen a 13 percent increase in the number of animals they’ve taken in that year.

“Last year, our numbers went down because of COVID when people were at home,” Pete said.

“We’ve had more herders, we’ve had more adopters. Now that we’ve seen people go back to work, we’re seeing that the increase is due to the animals that are there. But it’s mostly because people aren’t responsible owners and are counting and neutering.”

Accommodating all those cats isn’t cheap. It costs about $125 to get each one ready for adoption. The cats from the two shelter homes cost more than $8,000, which is an exorbitant price for the nonprofit.

Pete said, “I think people sometimes don’t understand that we’re a nonprofit. We’ve run out of donations. After a mindless four-day confinement, the animals are legally the shelter which is the nonprofit aspect. And they’re 100 percent working on donations.”

WCSPCA is currently hosting “Empty the Shelters” event through December 20th. You can adopt a cat for $10 or a dog for $25.

If you would like to donate to WCSSPCA, you can learn more here.

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