Declining adoption numbers impact local animal shelters


CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio — Several shelters across Cuyahoga County are currently facing a new trend when it comes to adoption.

At the Cleveland Animal Protective League, President and CEO Sharon Harvey says the cages are all full for dogs and nearly full for cats, as the shelter struggles to find permanent homes for these animals.


Remy Murray

Cleveland Animal Protective League.

“There is a lot of concern about the economy and people’s finances that could be driving how busy and full shelters are,” said Cleveland APL President and CEO Sharon Harvey.

At one time, Harvey says adopting a pet may have come without hesitation for some but, considering the rising costs we’re experiencing now for things like gas and food, she says this:

“I would speculate that because money is tight it is more expensive to own a dog than a pet and people might be putting that decision off,” said Harvey.

Meanwhile at the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter, they’re seeing an uptick in strays, which Shelter Director Mindy Naticchioni says has been happening throughout the entire summer season.

“Locally all of us as shelters are seeing more animals coming in but what we’re predominantly seeing is a lot of animals that are not getting reclaimed, they’re staying with us a little bit longer making space feel more challenging,” said Naticchioni. .


Remy Murray

Inside the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter.

Unlike at the Cleveland APL, the animal shelter accepts strays, but something Naticchioni says she and her staff are noticing is the length of stay has increased from two weeks to now three weeks making life a little more stressful for animals.

“While we provide daily enrichment through play groups, lots of walks, outings, it’s still not a home. It’s an environment that’s difficult for them,” said Naticchioni.

Naticchioni could not provide a definite answer if inflation is causing, but believes it could be a possible reason.

She does however note rising costs are impacting their pet food pantry with increased demand, in addition to veterinary care for after hour surgeries costing more money.

“We’re going to be relying on those donations even greater now than ever because of the increasing costs,” said Naticchioni.

Both shelters are accepting donations, volunteers and foster homes so when they do reach capacity, they can still serve their community.

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