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Hamilton, Butler animal shelters over capacity as July 4 celebrations spook dogs into the streets

Last Updated 2 weeks by Amnon J. Jobi | Amnon Front Page

Cincinnati Animal Care, Hamilton County’s primary animal shelter, has taken in 112 dogs since June 30 with more than half coming in a 48-hour period.

The July Fourth-fueled surge has pushed the facility into a stressful position, according to Shelter Director Meaghan Colville.

Colville said the facility is always over capacity, but this pushed more dogs into their second building and they expect more dogs to come in over the weekend.

“Everyone has got to be moving at a quicker pace making sure the kennels are clean, ready to go so they’re open and dogs are leaving,” she said.

Getting dogs out of the facility either through reuniting with owners, fostering or adoption would be key, Colville said, but keeping dogs out of the facility makes everything easier.

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Colville stressed that owners should microchip their pets or at the very least give them a collar with an address and phone number.

Hamilton County Animal Control has recently been able to return seven dogs to their owners without a visit to the shelter with the help of a microchip.

“I’m sure all of the shelters around here have been seeing that increase of dogs coming into the shelter,” Colville said.

Animal Friends Humane Society in Hamilton was forced to erect pop-up kennels to deal with the influx.

Intake Director Megan Poffenbarger said their facility was well over capacity as well.

“There’s over 100 dogs in the facility,” she said.

Poffenbarger said their team has gotten proficient at dealing with overages with two recent hoarding cases, including one where 86 dogs were brought to the facility, but the facility still needed donations of food and cleaning supplies to keep up.

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“I think our team is very proficient since dealing with hoarding cases,” she said. “We really know how to band together and muddle through it.”

Poffenbarger said they needed adopters to come in and lessen the load.

Will Rogers visited Animal Friends Thursday to do just that.

“They’ve never failed me here,” Rogers said.

Rogers walked out of the facility with what appeared to be a young Husky, and he encouraged others to adopt if they can do so.

“There’s just nothing like a dog that loves you because they don’t care how old you are, how young you are, how rich or how poor, or how smart you are. They love you unconditionally,” he said.

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Colville urged anyone who has lost their dog to come in person to a local facility to see if their dog was turned in.

She said it’s virtually impossible to tell if someone’s dog is in the facility over the phone, and the website can be backlogged with such a significant recent intake.

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