Overcrowding Overwhelms Bradshaw Animal Shelter — So What Can You Do to Help?

SACRAMENTO -- At the Bradshaw Animal Shelter, they're sounding the alarm on four legs and two.

"This morning we opened up with 234 dogs in the shelter. On Monday, we had 243," said Director Dave Dickinson.

The shelter's set up for 160 to 170 dogs normally and right now there are more than 300 cats at the Sacramento County facility. Some of the cat habitat rooms have been repurposed to house small breed dogs.

"That way we could put eight or nine dogs in one room instead of taking up eight or nine cages," Dickinson said.

It's not that people aren't coming in to pick out their newest family member but those homecomings can't keep up with the intake. Forty-three animals left the shelter Wednesday but 60 came in.

There are other factors complicating departures, like waiting on meet-and-greet appointments to make sure established family pets will get along with a newbie.

While it's not the major source of strain, Bradshaw is also dealing with an increase in guard dogs from illegal pot grows. It's a circumstance clawing into space at the Front Street Shelter as well.

The dogs can't go home with someone new right away.

"A lot of times those dogs are undersocialized because they're not family pets," Dickinson said. "They don't do well in shelters and they need a lot of rehab work for us to make them adoptable again."

With so many animals in need of so much more space at the Bradshaw Animal Shelter, directors need for members of the public to bring in 42 inches by 22 inches collapsible crates so they can start housing them in the lobby.

Doors open at 12:30 Thursday afternoon.

The best way to help the shelter out with those much-needed kennels is to find its wish list on Amazon, buy one there and have it shipped to the shelter. Directors are asking that you not drop off cash in this situation. There's a lot of internal processing that has to happen with a cash donation, which takes time and would slow down housing animals in this crisis.