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Alberta animal shelter in ‘panic mode’ over capacity concerns

Click to play video: 'Alberta animal shelter in ‘panic mode’ over capacity concerns' Alberta animal shelter in ‘panic mode’ over capacity concerns
WATCH ABOVE: Many Alberta animal shelters are struggling right now. Surrender requests are coming in at unprecedented rates while donations are dwindling, leaving some rescues on the brink of closing. A warning -- some images may be disturbing. Nicole Stillger has more – Aug 13, 2022

Earlier this week Saving Grace Animal Society took in 31 animals, all of which were in life-or-death situations.

“A big day like that is a large undertaking for our organization,” said co-executive director Erin Deems.

“A year ago that would have been an okay day, but now it causes quite a panic for us.

“We have been in panic mode — as far as shelter capacity — for the last quite a few months.”

Read more: Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society reaches capacity of rescue animals, pauses intake

According to Deems, the situation continues to get worse.

“The surrender requests for their animals are just coming in at unprecedented rates,” she explained.

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“If we continue at this rate, we don’t even have a year. We’re diminishing all of our funds into these major medical cases and it’s not sustainable.”

On top of that, Deems said they don’t have enough foster homes and people are not donating like they used to.

“Animal welfare across our province right now is a major struggle,” Deems said.

“We all need to start looking into what we can do to do better for the animals.”

Read more: Alberta animal rescue organization opens first Edmonton facility

Edmonton’s Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) shelter is also full.

“We’re finding that there just seems to be a real significant increase in intake or requested intake,” AARCS Edmonton operations manager Leigh McLean said.

“We’ve been getting a lot of surrender requests, a lot of emergency requests — communities are finding lots of strays, lots of animals that have been abandoned.”

McLean also noted their outgoing animals is lower than normal and added they’ve reduced their adoption fees to make space for new cases.

“There’s always an increase in intake over the summer and we do tend to find that there is a little bit of a drop in terms of supporters and adopters — things like that,” McLean explained.

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At Saving Grace, the rescue is currently fundraising for its own vet clinic which Deems said would alleviate a lot of pressure.

“(It would) allow us to free up some resources so that when we do these larger intakes, and when we get these calls, we aren’t in such a panic mode,” Deems said.

Deems is hoping things turn around before it’s too late.

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