A recent influx of cats and dogs has filled the Prince Albert SPCA to more than capacity, meaning they may have to resort to euthanasia.
“If we cannot place a significant number of our pets over the next week, sadly, the alternative is euthanasia,” SPCA manager Debbie Lehner explained.
“Our adoptions have been consistent, but we’re now getting in the boxes of kittens and the litters … It’s starting to become over capacity, so we’d like to keep the public informed.”
Until further notice, the SPCA has stopped accepting strays, with Lehner encouraging residents to foster strays until spaces open up for them.
Alternatively, city bylaw manager Suzanne Stubbs said that bylaw enforcement officers will continue to pick up stray animals, with a few temporary housing locations lined up.
City bylaw will keep the SPCA up to date with descriptions of these off-site animals so that people can continue to contact the SPCA with missing animal reports.
But, why the more than usual overcrowding of the SPCA now?
“We ask ourselves that every day,” Lehner said. “The amount of puppies that we’ve had brought in has a lot to do with the spay/neuter issue — that people aren’t spaying or neutering their pets.”
Boxes of kittens are another symptom of this problem.
“The Prince Albert SPCA does have a fixed income program for those that are on social assistance or disability to assist them, but we can only do so many per year because of a lack of funds,” Lehner said.
If we cannot place a significant number of our pets over the next week, sadly, the alternative is euthanasia. - Prince Albert SPCA manager Debbie Lehner
Currently, the SPCA is looking after 86 animals, including 21 adult cats, 20 kittens under the age of six months, 23 mature dogs, 13 puppies and nine dogs in foster care.
A number of the adult cats have been tagged for the barn buddies program, which Lehner said has saved the lives of many adult cats in the past.
“The barn buddies is a program geared to farmers, people that have shops, small acreages, and the cats are basically outdoor cats but they have a shelter of some sort,” she explained.
Although foster care spots are always welcomed, the key solution to the SPCA’s current overcrowding is a wealth of adoptions, coupled with the obvious solution — people spaying and neutering their pets.
Lehner notes that the capacity of their future facility will be much greater than the outdated one currently housing these pets.
The new facility will accommodate 50 dogs, versus the 29 the current facility is able to house, and about 80 cats, versus the 45-50 presently.
The New Leash on Life Campaign is still working hard at fundraising efforts for the new facility, Lehner said.
“We were optimistic that we would be able to turn dirt this year and we are still optimistic.”
To adopt a pet or to learn more about fundraising efforts for the new facility, the Prince Albert SPCA can be contacted at 763-6110.