The Humane Society of Central Texas is once again reaching capacity

WACO, Texas — The Humane Society of Central Texas is again at full capacity with 473 dogs available for adoption.

267 of them remain with foster families, but the shelter is still overflowing with more than 200 on site.

“Our intake numbers were just unbelievably high,” Mike Gray, a specialist in Shelter Behavior and Enrichment, told 25 News. “In the three years I’ve been here, the number of dogs brought into the shelter has never been higher.”

These numbers continue to rise and the shelter has had to start mating dogs in cages just to have extra space.

“We’ve never had to double dogs,” Gray said. “The last thing we ever want to do is lose a dog and we will do everything we can to not let that happen.”

The high number of dogs in shelters is a result of both an increase in strays and people returning pets soon after adoption.

“People adopt, keep them for a few days, and then bring them back to the shelter,” Gray said. “So don’t really give them time to adjust, relax, act like everything’s fine, this is my new life and I have to behave properly.”

Experts say it can take up to three months for shelter pets to adjust to a new home.

“You’re going to want to know your schedule, your routine, and the people there,” said Alan White, executive director of White Haven Canine Evaluators. “After about two to three weeks, they start to settle down more and accept the new environment as their home. They begin to relax and return to normal dog activities.”

Being returned to an animal shelter can cause stress for dogs and make it harder to adjust in any adoption.

“It’s very stressful for a dog,” White said. “It changes their personality the longer they’re here.”

In addition to being patient with rescue dogs, people can also help the shelter by making sure their own pets are secured and neutered or neutered in or around their yards.

“We get all these dogs that are brought into shelters and they aren’t spayed or neutered so who knows how many litters of puppies these dogs have had, not because they’re bred, but because they’re just running wild and getting that way them puppies,” Gray said.

The shelter is waiving all adoption fees through Saturday. People can also foster a pet, which is free. The Humane Society also pays for groceries and all medical expenses.

About Clayton Arredondo

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