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CLEAR THE KENNELS: How you can help 497 animals at shelter in Charlotte Co.

497 cats, dogs, and other animals are housed at the Animal Welfare League of Charlotte County
Posted at 9:21 PM, Mar 14, 2024

The Animal Welfare League of Charlotte County is filled with animals and urgently needs to find homes for them.

According to Kris Steffens, Executive Director of the League, there are 497 animals being sheltered there, which isn’t a record, but it's too many. The League saw an influx of animals needing shelter after the COVID-19 pandemic as owners returned to work, again after Hurricane Ian where shelter numbers reached over 600, and now because of high housing costs in Southwest Florida.

“It's a nationwide problem,” said Steffens. “Animals are finding themselves in shelters and they are losing their homes for various reasons. Mostly financial reasons, people aren’t able to afford their rent and animals and their food so they bring them here.”

The League is a no-kill shelter and will hold animals until they find a permanent home. But, if adopting a pet is too much commitment, the League allows animals to be fostered and will provide necessary items like food and toys.

“Not only does it change the life of that one animal but it's making room for another animal that really needs us here,” said Dayna Adams, the League’s Intake Supervisor. “Fosters are always needed for cats and dogs, there is a foster opportunity for everyone.”

Serial foster-failure (someone who adopts an animal they have fostered) January Evans spoke to Fox 4 as she picked up her latest foster dog, Douglas.

“It breaks my heart to think that there are so many here even though the staff here is great,” said Evans. “If you’ve always wanted a dog or a cat and you want to try it out, then foster.”

Other ways to help the animals at the Animal Welfare League of Charlotte County include volunteering or donating needed items.

Click here to see some of the animals available for adoption. Adoption fees are often lowered during special events.