Wake County Animal Center near capacity, may need to start euthanizing animals

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — Do you have room in your home for a four-legged family member?

The Wake County Animal Center is nearly full.

If they run out of space, they may have to start euthanizing some of the dogs.

“We didn’t have to be euthanized to save space. [since 2016] and we don’t want to start this year,” said Dr. Jennifer Frederico, Director of Animal Services.

A dog at Wake County Animal Center (Photo: Hayley Fixler/CBS 17)

But they are about to have to start.

They have four rooms for dogs: enough for 75 of them. They have 60 people living in kennels and another 15 in foster homes.

“It’s a constant influx,” Frederico said.

This becomes a huge problem for her and her staff.

“Our stray and our arrival from Animal Control take priority because we have to legally detain them. If you bring your pet to me today, it is legally ours,” she explained. “If we run out of space and we have legal catches, guess what animal can’t stay? It may be a perfectly adorable animal, but if we have to legally own this one and we have a kennel, the one that is legally ours could be euthanized.

Most dogs are strays and from Animal Control. But there is a growing number of owner buyouts.

“Probably about 30% of our intake,” Frederico said.

She told CBS 17 there was a big reason for the increase.

“A lot of housing restrictions, where they don’t want pets at all or they don’t want big dogs or they don’t want certain breeds,” Frederico said. “Everyone knows the housing market is crazy. So if it’s about finding this place, and it’s the only place you can have and you can’t have a pet, people are being pushed against a wall.

Frederico asks people who have to abandon their dogs to make the shelter their last stop.

She advised posting the animal on social media, checking with friends or asking a rescuer for help, before dropping the animals off at the centre.

They only do owner buyouts by appointment only, and they are booked through March.

Frederico is also urging people to come in, check out available dogs and think about giving them homes.

Benjamin M. Yerger