ANDERSON, Ind. — They’re really cute, and oh-so-cuddly, but kittens are also a problem for the Animal Protection League in Anderson right now. The city-sponsored animal shelter has been flooded with a huge influx of animals, both young and old.
“They have 10 kittens, they bring them to us,” said Maleah Stringer, director of the APL. “It’s not just kittens. We’re getting a lot of older animals, too.”
A stroll through the shelter reveals cage after cage of full-grown dogs, many of them pit bull mixes. The crowded shelter even has cages set up in the lobby. “I’m very frustrated right now because we have animals coming in so fast.”
“Through the summer months we get slammed,” Stringer said. The shelter population has boomed in the last couple of weeks, growing by about 150 animals. APL, 613 Dewey St., is at capacity, with about 300 animals being sheltered there.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do today. It’s only 2:30 and we’re open ‘til 7,” said Stringer. “The stress level’s high. It’s hard here. It’s hardest to watch ‘em get depressed – when they stick their paw out at you, and they follow you with their eyes. You either stay mad or sad most of the time.”
“We need people to adopt these animals,” said Stringer. The animal activist goes beyond that, however. Stringer said that people need to spay and neuter their pets. Further, Stringer sees a real need for ordinances that deliver punishment for irresponsible pet ownership.
“So there’s a deterrent,” said Stringer.
Calls could reach 5,000
While Stringer said she recognizes that there are plenty of people that get what it means to have a pet, “Other folks see it as something they do for themselves.” Then, when there are any difficulties, or the pet gets old and needs more care, “It becomes something expendable.” Then it can often wind up being dumped at the APL.