Gaston County animal shelter turns to public to help overcapacity

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — Gaston County Animal Care and Enforcement is urging the community to help find homes for the cats and dogs in the shelter.

Officials posted a picture on Facebook Tuesday that showed a line of people waiting to surrender their pets.

The shelter told Channel 9 that they're at capacity and they don't turn animals away so every time one comes in, one must go.

"We're actively reaching out to our rescue partners,” said Karrie Brotzman, who is the adoption coordinator. “We're marketing our pets on social media."

Jackie Baird picked up two dogs Tuesday and said she was volunteering to bring them to a foster home in Fort Mill.

"My understanding is both of these animals I'm taking today were going to be put down," Baird said.

"For us, before we jump straight to that conclusion, we're going to reach out to our rescue partners and see if they can make room," Brotzman said. "But unfortunately, yes, it does come down to euthanizing pets in shelters."

She said it's not uncommon for them to be close to capacity and they typically see a bump during holiday weeks.

"For a lot of people, it's out of sight and out of mind,” Brotzman said. “You see the sad commercial on TV and you see the sad things online but this is right here in our community. Right here in our community, this is happening."

The shelter is always looking for homes to adopt cats and dogs but there are many other ways the community can help.

They are always looking for foster homes and people can always donate money, supplies or time.

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