North Texas Daily

Denton animal shelter reaches capacity

Denton animal shelter reaches capacity

Denton animal shelter reaches capacity
July 15
10:00 2021

With upwards of 60 dogs and cats, the City of Denton’s animal shelter is at its full capacity. 

Denton’s animal shelter, Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center, is run by city’s animal services department. Currently, the shelter is out of resources for new animals and has taken efforts to combat this including lowered adoption fees and promoting fostering. 

“I’ve never seen the shelter this full ever,” said Christi Spindle, Denton shelter and foster volunteer.

Shelter Manager Randi Weinberg said the shelter sees a usual uptick in animals during the summer as dogs and cats are having litters. Animals are also more likely to escape their enclosures or homes as people become more active in the summer. After the Fourth of July, the shelter tends to get strays that have run away because they were scared of fireworks.

Numbers in the shelter have also risen due to a higher amount of surrenders.

Stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19 led to animal adoptions increasing, and many shelters became nearly empty as people stuck at home wanted companions. Now, shelters across North Texas are seeing the animals adopted during the pandemic be returned as more offices and schools go back to in-person workspaces. 

Weinberg said many people have surrendered their animals because they are no longer equipped to stay home with them all day, exercise with them or give them the necessary attention with workplaces and other establishments reopening.

“Now that people are returning to a brick and mortar work setting, they are returning their animals,” Weinberg said. 

To help lower the number of pets in the shelter, the facility is asking people to adopt or foster animals to clear out space. The shelter is also encouraging those who find a dog to use social media to help locate the owner before bringing it to the shelter.

Fostering animals is also encouraged by the shelter as a fast way to reduce capacity. Weinberg said fostering can help the shelter by keeping the animal until they can get adopted or when there is space in the shelter. Fostering also allows the veterinary team to catch up on caring for the animals on-site.

The Denton shelter also works with rescues to decrease the number of animals. Ann Wilsher, shelter volunteer and speech pathologist, said she has worked with shelters in the past and noticed that Denton works with rescues more actively than others do. 

“[Denton] is trying really hard to get [animals] out to rescues,” Wilsher said.  

Getting animals adopted is important to the shelter, but ensuring the animal is compatible with the owner’s lifestyle is crucial. Wilsher said education about the animals is essential in the shelter as people often come in wanting puppies or high-energy dogs, but are not aware of how much work and time goes into their care. 

To Spindle, placing dogs in their forever homes is the most rewarding aspect of volunteering and fostering. 

“The dogs that are rescued — they know they are rescued,” Spindle said. “There’s a whole different level of connection and love. They know you saved them.” 

 Those interested in more information on the shelter or fostering and adoptions can visit dentonasf.com. 

Featured Image: Animal Shelter volunteer Christi Spindle poses in the grass with dogs she has fostered and adopted from the shelter on July 8, 2021. John Anderson

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Hannah Johnson

Hannah Johnson

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