Florence animal shelter overwhelmed with influx of animals

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FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) – Pet adoption rates skyrocketed during the pandemic. Now, those numbers have started to dip as life slowly returns to normal and local shelters are seeing more animals in need of homes.

The shelter said it has more than 100 animals at its facility. Most of those animals are cats and kittens, and it’s becoming overwhelming for the staff at the shelter.

Jayne Boswell, president of the Florence Area Humane Society said at the start of the pandemic, people flocked over to the shelter looking for a new pet. Now that most people are no longer working from home, fewer people are coming in to the shelter to adopt.

Boswell said the shelter saw adoption applications from other surrounding states last year during the pandemic.

Another reason Boswell believes animals have ended up in the shelter is because some people lost their jobs during the pandemic. Boswell added most of the animals are taken to the shelter because they can no longer be cared for or are found as strays on the streets. It has been extremely difficult to find foster homes this summer.

Boswell also said many people thought they could take care of an animal while spending most of their days at home, but later realized they couldn’t handle the responsibility.

Boswell added the shelter has not seen a staffing shortage but that having a full staff of workers and volunteers is crucial to make sure all the animals are happy and healthy during their stay.

“If you drive through the streets of Florence and other cities, you’ll see a lot of help wanted or now hiring signs, so I think it is difficult to replace anybody that leaves,” Boswell said.

Boswell said there will be a kitten adoption event happening this weekend on Saturday, July 31 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Florence Area Humane Society. Fees are half-priced for adoption.

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