Employees and volunteers at the Dawson County Humane Society are considering hanging a “no vacancy” sign on the front door.
“We’re full,” said Kay Harris, shelter director.
The shelter has been at capacity since about May and cannot accept any more abandoned or homeless animals, she said.
The situation stems from a drop in volunteers and donations, as well as county budget cuts.
“Since everybody’s budget has been cut, we just can’t afford to take any animals other than those brought in by animal control,” Harris said. “If we continue, we’d have to euthanize more, and we don’t want to do that.”
According to a contract the county commission approved in May, the shelter is paid to take in 150 animals from animal control a month.
“Last month, we ran over,” Harris said. “Of course, it’s puppy and kitten season in summer.”
Stricter laws regarding animals could be a solution, she said.
“It’s important to have your pets spayed or neutered,” Harris said. “And if there was a license like a lot of other cities, counties and states have, it could bring in more revenue to maybe hire a another animal control officer.
“It seems like it could help save money and animals at the same time.”
Currently, the shelter is home to 225 dogs and cats.
“With people losing their jobs, many people just can’t afford to keep their pets, so they bring them here,” she said.
More arrive each day.
“I hate to have to turn them away, but we have no other choice right now,” she said.
While the number of animals being brought to the shelter has risen, fewer people are adopting pets.
Volunteers are at Pet Smart in Cumming every weekend for adoptions.
Appalachian Community Bank also sponsored a recent pet adoption at its downtown branch.
“We’re so thankful to them for all they do for us,” Harris said.
The bank is also accepting shelter supply donations through August.