WOODFORD COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Organizers at the Woodford Humane Society are asking for the public's help as they deal with an influx of dogs and a lack of adoptions.
Beth Oleson, marketing director for the organization, said intake at the shelter was up 30% in 2021, and owner-surrenders were up 20%. She believes it had a lot to do with the push a lot of other shelters made to ramp up adoptions when the pandemic began.
"We sort of hesitated to participate in that idea just because experience has taught us that if you get on board with something that seems like a great, exciting idea like that, especially in a situation where people are spending a lot of time at home, but they won't be later, you're setting yourself up for adoptions that don't last," Oleson said. "We are getting dogs back in. Not necessarily dogs that were adopted from us during the pandemic, but we're getting dogs that were purchased as puppies or gifted to people during the pandemic and they're all coming in now."
She said the shelter is designed to hold 28 dogs. Friday evening, they had 45.
"It's more labor. It's more energy. It's more food. It's more medications," Oleson said.
One reason adoptions are slow, she said, is that a lot of people who would typically consider adoption already took in pets during the pandemic, so the pool of people who might come in is a lot smaller.
She said the organization is a private, non-profit, so financial donations can go a long way toward taking care of the animals. They could also use some more people in the building.
"We are also, like a lot of people right now, really understaffed. We need more help. If there are folks out here who love animals and are interested in working with animals here full or part-time, we have a few positions available. We could really use some extra help on that front," Oleson said.
Woodford Humane is a no-kill shelter, so Oleson said they would continue to take animals in, but they have had to implement some restrictions. They used to take animals from other shelters that became overwhelmed, but now they only take in animals from Woodford County.