El Paso animal shelters face overcrowding; some blame free adoptions

El Paso News
A promotion at El Paso Animal Services may cost you nothing when it comes to adopting a pet, but one local organization said there’s no such thing as free.
 
As the summer comes along, so does the amount of animals being dropped off at different shelters all around the city. However, some non-profits are stressed over capacity issues which they said can be correlated to free adoptions from the city. 
 
“We look at that as a giveaway dog, (or pet cat) as a throw away dog. Some people are going to adopt a dog they’re happy with if it’s a good dog or a nice dog, but there’s a reason dogs or cats are at the pound,” Martha Williams, director of Pet Guardian Angel told KTSM.
 
It’s peak season at animal shelters with hundreds of pets waiting for forever homes. Free adoptions may help clear the shelters, but comes at a price for others.
 
“There’s a lot of studies out there that state basically free adoptions doesn’t mean the pet owners are going to be the worst pet owner. Basically everybody is looking for a bargain, it doesn’t matter what income,” Paula Powell, director of El Paso Animal Services shared.
 
Like many others, Dog Guardian Angel is a non-profit shelter that faces overcrowding and funding issues. The shelter said part of it is because of owners changing their minds after adopting.
 
“They think that they can have a no kill shelter by next year, that’s never going to happen because there’s too many reasons, there’s too many pets, they have saturated the market with free pets which makes it almost impossible for us to adopt, yet we’re taking in their dogs and cats,” Williams said.
 
The City’s Animal Services said although all shelters are struggling right now, the common goal should be the same. 
 
“The only way we can do it is if the community, and all the rescues and all the great organizations that we have here for the pets work together,” Powell added, “Don’t blame each other, but work together and find solutions together. We don’t have to agree on everything, but we do know that we want to save more lives.”
 
The City and County will be renewing its collaboration with Animal Services in order to save more lives of animals in the Borderland.

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