Packed animal shelters bracing for more intakes during 4th of July weekend

New Mexico News

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico animal shelters are nearly maxed out on capacity. With the 4th of July holiday approaching, they are bracing to squeeze in even more animals. At the Santa Fe animal shelter, they brought in nearly 600 stray animals last month and they say they are having to triple up kennels just take make room for incoming animals.

“June was overwhelming to us and as we go into the 4th of July weekend, which is also one of the busiest weekends for stray animals because of the fireworks, we are right now at overcapacity. We are so full right now that we have slashed all adoption fees to 50 dollars,” says Murad Kirdar, public relations officer at the Sante Fe Animal Shelter.

Officials in Sante Fe say stray intakes are up statewide. They’ve seen a steady increase this week with fireworks going off ahead of the holiday weekend.

At the Valencia County Animal Shelter, officials say during the pandemic the number of intakes went down and adoptions were up. However, as things get back to normal, their number of intakes has started to increase yet again. They say right now they have about 170 animals and their capacity is 200.

Director Jess Weston says staff members are prepared to work this holiday in anticipation of lost pets throughout the county. “It puts a huge strain on our facility on our staff. We have staff members that come into our facility on the Fourth of July evening and they stay with the animals they set up radios to try and combat some of the noise,” Weston says.

Valencia County says they are bracing to take in anywhere from 10 to 40 dogs this weekend. Albuquerque shelters are waiving adoption fees through Saturday. The city wants to make sure its shelters have room for the pets that get scared during the fireworks and run away.

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