Cold weather not helping animal adoption in Visalia

FRESNO, Calif.

With a swipe of a paw and a cute puppy dog face...these animals at Valley Oak SPCA in Visalia are trying to show off their best assets in hoping the shelter's "Home For The Holidays" Campaign gets them adopted.

The SPCA is over capacity and still taking in dozens of stray animals and surrendered pets.

"But the problem we're having is we're still having a lot of owner surrenders and that means people either have lost jobs lost homes and cannot afford to care for their pets anymore," Shelter Executive Director Tami Crawford said.

They're holding two open houses for the public this month and trying to put more of their adoptable animals' pictures on their website to encourage more adoptions. But factors they can't control are making it difficult for them to find homes for some pets.

Valley Oak SPCA employees say the recent cold weather has actually caused their euthanasia rates to go up.

"They have upper respiratory problems it's too cold for young kittens to be born outside so we're still getting litters of kittens and sometimes they're sick and we simply have to euthanize them so it's heartbreaking," Crawford said.

The cold weather can also spread kennel cough, a sometimes fatal condition that can spread quickly among dogs. The SPCA is advising pet owners to provide safe, warm shelter for their animals when they're outside in the cold.

Animal control officer Justin Helt says he's seeing more sick and cold animals out on the streets. "Unfortuantley a lot of animals are left unkept outside sometimes we don't think about they get just as cold as we do even though they have coats."

Fines for improperly caring for a pet start at $100. If you'd like to adopt a pet, Valley Oak SPCA is having its first open house of the season this Saturday.

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