Urgent call for pet adoptions, fostering as pet shelters are forced to euthanize animals

Animal shelters across metro Atlanta are overcrowded. Some have even been forced to euthanize animals due to a lack of space.

"It’s not just a Georgia or metro Atlanta problem, it’s nationwide," said Steve Hammond, Director of Animal Services for Cobb County.

Cobb County Animal Shelter, like many others, is overflowing with dogs and cats who need homes.

"Our intake for the year is up 17%. In real numbers that’s over 1,000 animals more coming in this year than we had last year," said Hammond.

Hammond says because of that, unfortunately they’ve had to put down 44 animals this year due to lack of space.

Hammond says while they’re still seeing some cases of people who adopted pets during COVID now turning them in since they have to go back to work, he points to the economy as the biggest problem.

"Housing is so expensive right now and when people lose their place to stay, they have a hard time getting another place. Some of the folks we see turning in their animals are living in their cars," said Hammond.

The animal overload is also taking its toll on staff and volunteers.

"It’s hard, it’s very hard, especially to see them wanting to get out. We try to get them out on a walk every day. They get at least 15 minutes," said Sherry Kersey, one of the volunteers at the shelter.

Cobb Animal Services has been holding low cost and free adoption events to try to find these animals homes. It helped. They’ve seen adoptions rise 33% over last year at a time when adoptions nationwide are down.

"It’s working for us, but it’s not enough. We need more adoptions, more rescues, but it’s helping us to maintain.

To find out about Cobb Animal Services Special adoption events, check out their social media on Instagram @cobbcountyanimalservices and Facebook @CobbAnimalServices

The website, cobbcounty.org/pets, has information about all the adoptable animals.