Jacksonville animal shelters overcrowded

Residents urged to adopt, foster pets so city can remain no-kill

By Ashley Mitchem - Reporter, anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville is the largest city in the United States to have achieved no-kill status, but local animal welfare agencies say the city is in danger of losing that distinction.

Shelters are critically full and the Jacksonville Humane Society, Animal Care and Protective Services and First Coast No More Homeless Pets are asking for the community's help in ensuring that no adoptable pet has to lose its life due to lack of space in shelters.

"We've hit the wall, no question," said Denise Deisler, executive director of the Humane Society. "We are at the limit every single space that we have available and then some, both here and at the city shelter."

Shelters are so full that 30 dogs were transferred from the Humane Society to Pet Paradise temporarily to make more room. Thirty more dogs from the city shelter took their place so they wouldn't be put down.

But right now the Humane Society can't take in anymore animals.

"If we are full and those animals aren't moving out, our hands are tied in terms of being able to help the city," Deisler said ."And then the city gets backed up and filled, and then they get faced with the difficult decision of having to euthanize animals we might otherwise be able to save."

There are a couple ways to help. Residents can adopt. For a limited time, adoption fees are $20. Residents can also foster a pet for a few weeks to give room for other incoming pets.

"People opening up their homes very temporarily to foster allows us to expand that capacity and save more animals," Deisler said.

A mega adoption event will be held July 18-20 at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds.

Copyright 2014 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.