EKY animal shelter experiences highest intake of animals ever

Kentucky River Regional Animal Shelter
Kentucky River Regional Animal Shelter(WYMT)
Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 3:02 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - An Eastern Kentucky animal shelter is experiencing a crisis right now as they battle an over-population of animals all while being short staffed.

The Kentucky River Regional Animal Shelter is a non-profit organization that covers four Eastern Kentucky Counties: Perry, Knott, Letcher and Breathitt.

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

“We only have three employees, so we come down and take care of a hundred animals a day, by ourselves, pretty much,” said shelter manager Allie Mullins.

Board President of the shelter, Tammy Noble, said the shelter had more than thirty-two drop offs in a single day last week.

She added when the shelter experiences an influx like this and there are no rescues with the space to help, healthy dogs and cats must be euthanized.

“This is overwhelming for our shelter workers,” said Noble. “We are one of the fortunate shelters that does this with their whole heart and soul. They love animals. From the time animals enter our gate, they get nothing but love and we’re struggling. We’re struggling to actually give those animals the attention they need.”

Noble said that the shelter needs community support to thrive. Monetary and supply donations are welcome, but volunteers are needed more than anything, even if its just for an hour or two.

“What we need help with most is basically just walking the dogs and socializing,” Mullins added. “With us taking care of so many, they never get to get out of the cages. So, just somebody to come walk 10 dogs helps tremendously.”

Both Noble and Mullins said that ensuring your animals are spayed or neutered can help to dramatically reduce overpopulation at the shelter.

Noble said that if you must surrender your animal, its best to call the shelter to schedule a drop off versus showing up unannounced.

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

Due to the overcrowding of animals and being short staffed, the shelter has adjusted their hours to better clean and care for the animals.

The shelter is now open Monday through Friday from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from noon to 2:00 p.m.

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