Canine Crisis

March 28, 2008 9:41:49 AM PDT
A puppy is plumping up after being abandoned in a north valley dumpster and animal control officials say the small dog is just a symptom of a much larger problem. Puppy season is just beginning.10-week-old "Zoey" was brought to the Madera county animal shelter this week after being found in a dumpster at a Madera apartment complex. Some residents were shocked to hear the dog was thrown away like trash. "Unbelievable. I think it's really sad because I don't know how long the puppies been in the dumpster," said resident Melissa Vasquez.

Madera County Animal Services Director Kirsten Gross said 'Zoey's' story is sad but familiar. She believes the problem is only going to get worse in the next few months. "This time of the year is kind of the early portion of the overpopulation problem. We'll have puppies and kittens coming in this shelter, about 900 a month, for the next three or four months. A typical month is about 600 a month," said Gross. Three litters were dropped off at the shelter Thursday and Gross said the facility is already at capacity. "We're actually just full right up to the max right now in the shelter, so I don't know where we're going to put them but we'll try to find a spot."

The Madera County Animal Shelter and other facilities in the Valley have kennels where people can anonymously drop off unwanted animals after business hours. But the best solution is having pets spayed or neutered so no others end up thrown away like Zoey. "There's so many animals, there's so puppies and kittens being born that they're disposing them like they're trash. It's so very sad," said Gross.


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