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Overcrowding at Kentucky Animal Shelters Intensifies During Breeding Season

Bowling Green Warren County Humane Society

Humane societies across Kentucky are struggling with a constant problem that multiplies during breeding season: too many animals and not enough space.

Animals can’t be adopted fast enough to slow the crisis of overcrowded shelters. 

Breeding season for dogs and cats is generally from mid-May through the end of September. That intensifies the relentless demand on shelters across Kentucky.

Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society Director Lorri Hare said she constantly gets calls from other shelters hoping to find space to send animals.  

“So, Butler County is at max capacity. Logan County is at max capacity. Grayson County is at max capacity. Allen County is at max capacity. It’s everywhere," said Hare.  "We have people even call our shelter from Tennessee wanting to know if we could help. And unfortunately, we don’t like to say no, but we can’t. ” 

Hare said the Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society takes in about 40 animals a day, so even if 15 are given a home on a good adoption day, the math clearly shows that space is always going to be an issue. 

Hare said the only way to deal with the overpopulation is to get dogs and cats spayed or neutered.

“There are programs all over our state to help people financially get their pets fixed," said Hare. "It’s a shame that animals have to pay the price of pet owners that won’t step up and do that, but unfortunately that’s the case.” 

Although many shelters reported an uptick in animal adoptions during the pandemic, when people were forced to be home for months on end, that provided only a temporary dent in the overcrowding.

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