DES MOINES, Iowa — If you’ve considered adding a furry friend to your family, shelters across central Iowa are urging that now is the time to do so.
At Furry Friends Refuge in West Des Moines, more animals have been coming through the doors than going out in the last few months.
"There are a lot of animals in shelters everywhere that need your help,” said shelter director Britt Gagne.
Gagne says that the refuge currently houses around 200 animals, and that the dog runs have been full for the past six months.
"Summer is always a busy time for shelters," she said. "But this year in particular, really, finding adopters for animals, it seems like there are a lot less families who are looking to add more responsibility by adopting a pet.”
Furry Friends is a no-kill animal shelter, meaning that all animals will stay in the shelter until they find a loving home. But for some other shelters in Iowa, that isn’t necessarily the case.
Due to overcrowding at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, the shelter is having to make tough decisions to meet their needs.
"The number of euthanasias, specifically of dogs, is up because we have taken in far more animals," said Joe Stafford, ARL's director of animal services.
The ARL has also been overwhelmed by the number of animals coming through their doors, reaching a critical level of capacity.
"As of this morning, we had over 300 dogs in our care," Stafford said, "but we should be around 150, so we are over 100%, above and beyond."
The ARL only euthanizes animals if they are suffering or have severe behavior concerns that would pose a risk to public safety, but Stafford adds that this has been the case with many incoming animals.
Both shelters are now asking the public for help so more animals can be placed in the loving homes they deserve.
“Now is just a really important time for the shelters to have community support,” Gagne said.
The ARL hosts several adoption events each month. Click here to view the schedule.