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PG Humane Society at full animal capacity and short on food amid veterinarian shortage

It’s flooding cats and dogs.

The Prince George Humane Society is at capacity for both cats and dogs in their care, and are turning away more animals daily.

Puppies currently in care through the Prince George Humane Society (Photo provided by PG Humane Society)

Kelsey MacNeil, an Animal Behaviour Coordinator and Registered Vet Tech at the Humane Society described the issue as a vicious cycle, stemming from a lack of of veterinarians in Prince George.

 

People are reluctant to adopt pets because wait times can be months long to get them checked on, spayed and neutered by a veterinarian.

Less pets are being adopted, and those that are will become more likely to have an accidental litter of kittens or puppies, which end up back in the shelters, carrying on the cycle.

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“People are being really responsible by not adopting pets until they have all their ducks in a row, but it is really slowing things down at the shelter a lot” MacNeil said.

On top of this, she added that “Prince George is pretty saturated with animals right now. I think that over the last few years a lot of people have adopted over the pandemic.”

Some of those pets have returned to shelters as their owners returned to work after lockdown and were unable to care for them.

Between more accidental litters and these pets acquired during the pandemic being brought back, there has been a “distinct increase in surrenders in the last little while.”

“In previous years we have actually had kitten shortages” said MacNeil, “this year we can’t even keep up with the number of requests for us to take kittens that we are getting. I think it is a problem that has been brewing for a couple of years and has really compounded.”

She said the veterinarian shortage has been a problem that has only gotten worse over the last five years.

“Right now we are in crisis mode. Our veterinarians are totally overwhelmed, they are booking months and months in advance for routine care.”

If she had her way, MacNeil would want double the number of vets in Prince George.

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The capacity at the shelter is 30 cats, and all dogs that are brought in are put in foster care in the community.

Both of these services are completely full, with people looking to hand over animals joining the two page long waiting list every day – each call ranging from one pet to full litters.

One of the consequences of running at full capacity for so long has been a pet food shortage.

A part of a Facebook post the Humane Society made today said “we are desperately in need of Kitten and Puppy food (kibble, any kind that is formulated for that age) and would super appreciate any donations to help us keep all these little tummies full.”

“Thankfully, since the Facebook post we have had a couple of people stop in with donations of kitten and puppy food” MacNeil said.

She said the biggest need is pet food specifically for puppies and kittens, which is nutritionally different from regular pet food.

If you want to help, donations of these types of food, or money for food, will never be turned aside. MacNeil also said that anyone wanting to volunteer at the shelter or become a foster for dogs or animals with specific needs can reach out to the Humane Society.

On top of pet adoption, of course.

For more information on the Prince George Humane Society, click here.

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