Local Animal Shelters At Full Capacity

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Local animal shelters say they have reached capacity.

The struggling economy is forcing human owners to surrender their dogs and cats to humane shelters. With job losses and home foreclosures, they often just can’t afford to keep caring for a pet.

“We have not seen this in Allegheny County,” Animal Friends Humane Officer Cathy Hecker said. “One of the problems have been the shelter that we are, the organization that we are is we do provide medical care and we do try to give them a second chance and that means our cages are full.”

An Australian cattle pup is looking for a new home at the Western Pa Humane Society. More than 100 new animals came in this past weekend.

“Those are animals that came in for a variety of reasons, but financial pressures on the family definitely played a part,” Gretchen Fieser, spokeswoman for the WPHS, said.

The manager of a Butler County shelter said volunteers find dogs tied to their mailbox in the morning or a box of kittens on the doorstep.

Animal Friends, a “no kill” shelter, is totally overwhelmed. A recent spike in cat hoarding is pushing them to the limit.

“Just this week our humane officers were called to a home in Garfield where we found 70 cats,” Jolene Miklas, with Animal Friends, said.

Starting Monday through the end of the year, Animal Friends will begin waiving all adoption fees for any cat age 2 and up.

Animal Friends
Western Pa Humane Society

  • purebredsonly

    Yet people still want designer mutts because they are cute. I’ve seen people paying $1500 for a mutt from the petstore. Purebreds pet quality is less!

  • Rachel

    This is one of those stories that just breaks my heart. I wish I could do more to help, but with five cats and a dog already and a baby on the way we just don’t have any room. I wish people would take the time to spay/neuter their pets and that could help some of the overcrowding!

  • Love Animals

    I wish I could take all of them . . . always dream of hitting Powerball . . . I would build the biggest animal sanctuary Western PA has ever seen! No animal would go unloved.

  • kristy


  • Shelter Dog Supporter

    I find it funny that KDKA posts this story about animal shelters being full, and then sends Marty to a shelter in New Ken that has “aggressive dogs” for adoption. Isn’t this counter productive? Post an article about all the homeless dogs and then go and scare the general public away from adopting shelter dogs. Way to support the rescue animal community KDKA. I am not denying that possibly the New Ken shelter has a problem, but scaring the public is not the way to get good dogs homes especially in this economy where people “can no longer afford” their dogs and dump them at the shelter. There are better ways to go about shutting down a poorly run shelter, making the public terrified of all shelter dogs is not the way to do this.

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