Spring is usually kitten season at area animal shelters, but this year Sacramento County’s Bradshaw Animal Shelter is overwhelmed with dogs in urgent need of homes.
As of Wednesday, the shelter, which was built to house 170 dogs, was caring for 215.
“We’ve been overrun with dogs,” said spokeswoman Kim Nava.
Dogs are having to double up in shelter quarters, and “some dogs are in cat habitats,” she said.
In an effort to encourage adoptions, Nava said, the shelter is offering a special $25 adoption fee through April. Dogs that have been at the shelter more than 30 days can be adopted for $20.
All animals available for adoption have been spayed or neutered. The adoption fee also covers all vaccinations, licensing for one year and microchipping. The dogs will be outfitted with microchips for identification purposes when they are adopted.
As of Wednesday, Nava said, 81 dogs at the shelter were ready for adoption. She noted that additional dogs become available daily as the holding period for lost or stray animals expires.
The shelter has a large number of pit bulls and Chihuahuas, as well as terriers and mixed breeds. Also available are several puppies and “dogs that are mature and just want to live a simple, quiet life,” Nava said.
All dogs available for adoption are socialized, she said.
The animals have come to the shelter due to a variety of circumstances. In some cases, Nava said, their owners were moving and couldn’t take their dogs with them. Others are strays that were picked up by animal control officers. Still others were relinquished by owners for reasons that were no fault of the dog, Nava said.
The shelter also seeks people willing to provide foster care for dogs until permanent homes can be found for them. “That’s one way to free up space,” Nava said.
Anyone interested in fostering a dog can call Meghan Ramczyk, foster coordinator, at (916) 875-7982.
To view photos and descriptions of dogs available for adoption, go to www.acr.saccounty.net/Pages/default.aspx?. The listing will indicate whether the dog is at the shelter or in foster care.
The shelter at 3839 Bradshaw Road is open from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and from noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For general information, call (916) 368-7387.
Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.