Too many abandoned animals, not enough homes

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Animal shelters and humane societies in the area are filling up, and so are a lot of animal foster groups.

Kitty Konnection, a local nonprofit that fosters kittens, said there has been an increase in stray and abandoned animals this Spring.

Kitty Konnection volunteers said more kittens and puppies have been born but less are getting adopted.

Since animal shelters and foster groups are at full capacity, people are getting rid of litters in dumpsters like trash.

Renee Nehlsen has been a foster parent for five years. She said she has six children of her own, but she loves taking care of babies, so she became a foster mom for kittens.

"I have a couple kitty rooms where the kitties can stay," Nehlsen said.

Nehlsen said they are taking in more kittens that have been abused and neglected.

"I'm not really sure if he's going to have vision," Nehlsen said. "It makes me really angry when they come in like this with conditions that could have been helped."

Bill Alston is the Registrar for Kitty Konnection, and he said their nonprofit is not the only one trying to save these animals lives.

"The problem that our group has the same problem that most rescue groups have, not only in this area but throughout the country," Alston said.

Alston said there was an increase in kitten and puppy litters being born and a decrease in adoption rate. He said county shelters and local foster groups are at full capacity, so people are finding other ways to get rid of their animals.

"One of our concerns is that leads to dumping of kitties," Alston said.

The group has about 40 foster parents and fostering 230 cats. Austin said spaying and neutering your animal could cut down that population.

"Spaying and neutering is important otherwise we have fertile animals, we have abandon kitties, and they multiply quickly," Alston said.

It's hard turning away neglected and abused animals, which is why many foster groups are always at full capacity or over.

Nehlsen said it's just as hard letting them go once their adopted, but it's worth it.

"It's sad. It's really sad, but then again it's happiness too because you know they're going to a good home," Nehlsen said.

Some of the other foster groups in our area are Dog Network Agents, Inc. (DNA) Cat Network Agents, Inc. (CNA), Old Fella Burke County Animal Rescue, Team Stinkykiss Shelter Rescue Project, and STARS Animal Rescue. They all said they are full and always looking for more foster and adopted homes for the animals.

Dog Network Agent, Inc. (DNA) in the CSRA said "We have seen an increase in this area needing help. We have had to close intake numerous times in the past few months. We currently are at max capacity, with sick dogs having to be boarded at our vet. Financially it has been a drain on our resources. It's hard having to say no to a dog suffering when it has nowhere to go."

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