P.E.I. Humane Society 'overwhelmed' by influx of animals

·2 min read
About 50 animals have been handed over to the P.E.I. Humane Society in the last week. Most of the new arrivals were kittens. (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)
About 50 animals have been handed over to the P.E.I. Humane Society in the last week. Most of the new arrivals were kittens. (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)

The P.E.I. Humane Society was closed to the public on Saturday to give staff time to process a large influx of animals.

About 50 crying, mewling, barking animals arrived at the shelter in the last week. Most of the new arrivals were stray cats and feral kittens, some under the age of four weeks, said Ashley Travis, the society's development and communications co-ordinator.

"We're seeing a lot of kittens with no mom, we're seeing kittens that have been found in barns, on the side of the road, in parking lots and they are all coming here," she said.

Tony Davis/CBC
Tony Davis/CBC

This large number of cats coming in seems to be part of a growing trend.

"Normally, we see about 200 to 250 kittens per year so far this year, though after the last week's worth of intakes, we've hit 350," Travis said.

"It has kind of overwhelmed the team."

She said staff took the day Saturday to process some of the animals, checking their ages and doing paperwork to get them ready for eventual adoption. Shelter staff were still available for emergencies even though the building was closed to the public.

While there are a lot of new mouths to feed all at once, Travis said staff is managing — and people willing to foster pets are helping to handle demand.

"Thankfully, we've had enough fosters ready to go that we've been able to handle this intake," Travis said, adding the shelter still has lots of capacity.

Laura Meader/CBC
Laura Meader/CBC

Feral and stray animals aren't the only ones showing up at the shelter. In recent months, quite a few pets have been surrendered because their owners couldn't find pet-friendly places to live. CBC spoke with the humane society about the situation in September, and Travis said things haven't really changed.

"The number one reason we are seeing surrenders right now is because of the housing crisis on P.E.I.," she said.

Many people have reached out to the Humane Society asking how they can help, said Travis. She said the humane society has a list of supplies it needs on its website if people want to donate.

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