City shelter overcapacity, seeks adoptions

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Animal Care and Protective Services is once again overcapacity with adoptable animals due to an overwhelming influx of animals from the community.

ACPS has a capacity of 58 dogs and 30 cats in adoption. Currently, the shelter has 170 dogs available for adoption and 38 cats.

"Over the past few years we have made great strides in reducing euthanasia in Jacksonville," said ACPS Division Chief Scott Trebatoski. "We still, however, face serious overcrowding issues. Our goal is to never have to euthanize an adoptable pet, but we need broad community support to reach that goal. Right now, there are more than 100 dogs needing homes and as many as 100 per day entering the shelter. We have dogs in offices and every other reasonable space available to us."

Trebatoski said that the network of shelters and rescues that assist ACPS through its Pet Placement Partner Program have done a fantastic job of getting thousands of animals annually out of the shelter and into new homes. However, the capacity of these shelters and rescues is not close to matching the tens of thousands of animals that enter the city shelter each year.

Even with efforts like spaying/neutering reducing some of the euthanasia in the community, there are still hundreds of adult dogs that face the possibility of euthanasia each year.

"In order for us as a community to reach our goals of no adoptable animals dying in area shelters, we need to help educate people on responsible pet ownership and reinforce that a pet is a life-long commitment," Trebatoski said. "Surrendering pets to the shelter only makes the shelter's job more difficult and ultimately may result in euthanasia. People should make every effort to find their pets a new home directly rather than relying on a shelter to rehome their pet."

ACPS and pet partners have made it a goal to be a "no-kill" community. In light of that, ACPS is making a plea to the community and residents in surrounding communities to adopt or foster adult dogs. Those considering fostering a dog do not have to be connected to a rescue to help in this effort. They just need to be willing to take responsibility for the animal from the time it leaves the shelter until a new home is found.

Until further notice, all dog and puppy adoptions at ACPS are being offered for $20.

ACPS is located at 2020 Forest Street. Adoption hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

To stay up to date on adoptions and other shelter events, connect with ACPS on Facebook.

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