With Animal Shelters Near Capacity, County Waives Adoption Fees for Month, Seeks Fosters Too

Animal shelters full
Maya, on a field trip to a restaurant, as of Friday was available at the Carlsbad shelter. Photo credit: County News Center

The San Diego County Department of Animal Services says shelters are very nearly at capacity and on Friday urged the public to help by adopting or fostering pets.

Only a handful of kennels are available for dogs at both the Carlsbad and the Bonita shelters, said Kelly Campbell, Animal Services director.

“This is an urgent plea. We need the public’s help to get some of these really great dogs and cats into homes, even temporarily,” she said. “We typically take in a dozen or more stray dogs a day and the average stay for each dog is more than two months, so that space we have available right now may be gone by the end of the day.”

Shelters will waive adoption fees this month on all animals – the “all treats, no tricks” special.

The department also welcomes foster families for dogs, even on a short-term basis.

“We have a lot of really nice dogs in care that have lived with families before and some that know some commands,” Campbell said.

She added that people shouldn’t assume the dogs are being relinquished for behavioral issues, pointing out that it is often financial issues or living restrictions that prompt owners to give up pets.

As of Friday, the county has 148 dogs at Bonita, 105 dogs in Carlsbad and more than 100 cats of different ages at each shelter location, Campbell said.

There are twice as many animals in the shelters’ care right now – more than 500 animals in total – compared with what has historically been normal for this time of year. Typically, the shelter reaches out to rescue partners and other shelters, but right now everyone is full, the director explained.

For adoption information, check here. To foster a pet, check here.