The Ingham County Animal Control Shelter is over capacity, and it might have to start euthanizing dogs and cats as early as Friday.
The problem is easy to explain: more dogs and cats are getting dropped off than adopted.
"Somebody was adopting in one window, but another person was bringing a dog in in the next window," Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter Director Jamie McAloon Lampman said. "So, we don't gain any ground. I mean, if we could maintain even, we'd be happy."
The shelter's inventory Thursday morning put them at 135 cats and 87 dogs. Even with volunteers and employees taking animals home, they said those numbers already increased, and their capacity is only 200.
"We have to face the reality that if we don't have the space, we have to put some animals down," McAloon Lampan said. "And believe me, we do not want to do that, but when you have that flow keep coming in, what are we going to do with them folks, what are we going to do?"
She said euthanasia is a last resort, but there might not be another option. They're already offering emergency foster care training for anyone willing to take a pet into their home.
"It was a quickie orientation, but we had room and we had the ability, so, it was time to step up and start fostering for the first time," Cheri Corretti said of her foster beagle.
The shelter is worried the worst is yet to come though. The week before Thanksgiving is filled with the most drop offs, because people go out of town and don't know what else to do, or the holidays make them realize they just can't afford a pet anymore.
"I'm glad we're here for animals, but we are what is called an open-admission shelter," McAloon Lampman said. "Any animal from Ingham County is going to get in here, we don't have the luxury of saying, 'No, we're full, you'll have to come back later on.' We have to accept the animal. We're getting hit by shelters around us that are closed admission."
The shelter said every animal they have right now is adoptable, but the ones on medication will the first to euthanized if it comes to that, even though their illnesses are completely treatable.
If you're interested in volunteering, fostering, or even adopting, visit Ingham County Animal Shelter