Shelter overcapacity, asks for adoptions

Animals coming into city's animal shelter expected to increase

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville's Animal Care and Protective Services is overcapacity.

Mayor Alvin Brown held a news conference Tuesday asking for the community to help by adopting so the animals aren't put down.

"These are some nice pets, and I'm asking the community to step out and help us adopt a pet," Brown said. "And today we are over capacity, so the goal is to make sure we do that."

ACPS forecasts the problem will only continue to grow because from now through July is when it sees an influx of pets come into the shelter.

The shelter was a no-kill shelter in November and January because adoption rates were high. But now the shelter fears if the pets aren't adopted soon, that will change.

"For every animal that's not adopted, it would ultimately have to be put down," said Scott Trebatoski, chief of ACPS.

ACPS says to be a no-kill shelter through the peak months would be the first time a southern city of Jacksonville's size has achieved such a goal.

"We would like adoptions to be their first choice, and if they make another decision, that's fine, we would just like to be the first choice," Trebatoski said.

Shelter workers say they get all kinds of dogs and cats.

"We get everything through here from mixed breeds to pure breeds, it's just a matter of taking your time and waiting for something you're looking for or falling in love with something you didn't expect," Trebatoski said.

Medical expenses are also one less thing to worry about.

"They're all screened, so you shouldn't have any issues with health," Trebatoski said. "They're all sterilized, things that you might not get if you buy a dog somewhere else and the adoption is very inexpensive."

Mary Fletcher is looking for a pet, and the shelter is the first place she went.

"I don't see a point in buying a new dog whenever there are other dogs out here that need love too, and they are already out here and cheaper, too," Fletcher said.

ACPS has about 130 pets available for adoption.

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