EKY Animal Shelter Sees Highest Animal Consumption Ever

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) – An Eastern Kentucky animal shelter is currently in crisis as it battles an overpopulation of animals while being short-staffed.

The Kentucky River Regional Animal Shelter is a nonprofit organization that covers four eastern Kentucky counties: Perry, Knott, Letcher, and Breathitt.

With the recent influx of animals, shelter workers are working 12 to 16 hour days.

“We only have three staff, so we go down and care for about 100 animals a day, on our own, or so,” said shelter manager Allie Mullins.

The shelter’s board chair, Tammy Noble, said the shelter had seen more than thirty-two dropouts in a single day last week.

She added that when the shelter experiences an influx like this and there is no rescue with the space to help, healthy dogs and cats should be euthanized.

“It’s overwhelming for our shelter workers,” Noble said. “We are one of the lucky shelters who do this with all their heart and soul. They love animals. From the moment the animals walk into our door, they get nothing but love and we struggle. We strive to give these animals the attention they need.

Noble said the shelter needs community support to thrive. Donations of money and supplies are welcome, but volunteers are most needed, even if only for an hour or two.

“What we need the most help with is just walking the dogs and socializing,” Mullins added. “With us looking after so many people, they never come out of the cages. So just someone coming to walk 10 dogs helps tremendously.

Noble and Mullins said making sure your pets are spayed or neutered can help significantly reduce overcrowding at the shelter.

Noble said if you need to return your pet, it’s best to call the shelter to schedule a drop-off than to show up unannounced.

Noble added that she would like to thank Perry County Executive Judge Scott Alexander for always helping the shelter in times like this.

Due to animal overcrowding and a lack of staff, the shelter has adjusted its hours to better clean and care for the animals.

The refuge is now open Monday to Friday from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 2 p.m.

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