Adelaide RSPCA shelter beyond capacity closes doors to new intakes
Volunteers at a jam-packed RSPCA branch in Adelaide have been forced to slam shut doors for new intakes as the shelter exceeds maximum capacity.
Staff at the shelter in Lonsdale have been housing animals in office spaces and transportable buildings as the number of animals being cared for swells "well above" regular limits.
Built to accommodate 300 cats and kittens, the shelter currently houses almost 550.
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There are just 80 spaces allocated for dogs and puppies but the shelter currently cares for 128.
The freeze will begin today and "continue until the numbers in care decrease to the shelter's capacity-to-care maximum numbers".
The agency said the only animals that will be taken in at the shelter will be "those coming via the organisation's inspectorate and rescue team".
RSPCA SA CEO Marcus Gehrig described the situation as a "perfect storm" due to the mass influx of animals arriving in the last year.
"We currently have 1413 animals in care across the state – that is 357 (34 per cent) more than we had at this time last year, and more than half of them are at our Lonsdale shelter," Gehrig said.
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"Our shelter staff and volunteers have been overstretched for months, and the huge toll it's taking on them as they strive to ensure every single animal receives the care it needs, is unacceptable.
"We are an underfunded charity – this is a crisis where we have to act now because we're simply out of room."
Gehrig said that while the number of animals successfully adopted is encouraging, the rate at which new ones are surrendered is unbalanced.
"We're doing all we can to rehome animals, and we're adopting animals at record numbers, but every day the incoming number is significantly exceeding the outgoing number," he said.
"For example, last week we rehomed 68 animals, but we had an additional 122 come in."
Animals available for adoption can be viewed online here
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