Stray animals create overcrowding in area animal shelters

Stray animals are creating a problem for area shelters and neighborhoods. Humane societies and shelters in counties including McCracken, Marshall and Calloway are dealing with overcrowding this summer.

John Griggs says he has a number of hungry friends who live in a pile of wood pallets that sits in Benton.

"Back in there, over there. When you walk in they run for this pile of pallets."

Griggs says it's easy to come across a lot stray cats in Marshall County.

"They're here, across the road. I've seen them come from there too. They're just all over," Griggs said.

"We would prefer not to have more than have two per cage. Because we are so full, some have three per cage," said Marshall County Animal Shelter Assistant Director Kip Hutchison. 

She says strays are becoming a problem.

"Kittens, definitely, we're full on over capacity. Dogs and puppies as well," Hutchison said.

Hutchison says usually the humane society has some room when the shelter is over capacity. Now, even it's full. 

"When they're full that's another thing. We can't work in tandem as well when they're over capacity," she said.

When so many animals are kept in a small space, staff at the animal shelter say it could create mental issues and some other health problems too.

"An upper respiratory infection is one of the most dangerous things we see in shelter," Hutchison said.

She says it boils down to a lack of people getting their pets spayed or neutered.

"Cats, they can have three or four litters of kittens a year. If you have two stray kittens at your house, they can quickly turn into 27 stray cats." 

The hope, Hutchison says, is people start taking some responsibility to save some lives and stop a pesky problem for some neighborhoods.

To help with overcrowding, the Humane Society of Marshall County is holding an adoption drive. The fundraiser is Friday, July 10 at 11 a.m. at Community Financial Services Bank in Benton. People will be able to adopt pets at half price, with vaccinations included in the costs. Microchips will also be offered.

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