Overcrowded conditions at a local animal shelter have leaders calling for help to save dozens of dogs and cats.
The director of the Douglas County Animal Shelter said it's housing three times as many dogs and cats as it should.
Channel 2's Jeff Dore went to the shelter, where he said a staffing shortage is making the situation even more difficult.
The indoor kennels at the shelter are jam-packed and roaring with animal sounds.
The shelter was designed for one dog to a cage, but “Fido” and “Bowser” have to double-bunk until they can find new homes.
“Our desire would be to have one dog per kennel,” said Director of Animal Services, Bill Peacock.
A dog's life in the main kennel is noisy, smelly and crowded. Instead of one dog per cage, they house two, if they're sociable.
In a space for 80 dogs and cats, they have 160, and recently took another 80 cats from one overwhelmed house. So now, about 240.
The cat room is quieter. It has cages stacked wall to wall, floor to ceiling, some cuddled in groups, some stretching and some reaching for contact.
“We just went through the cat breeding season. So all the feral and all the stray cats have mated and had kittens, so they're all brought out here to us,” Peacock said.
Douglas County tries to find homes for all but the dangerous dogs, only euthanizing about 15 percent, but animals keep pouring in.
Lou and Carol Costello showed up to volunteer. They've seen the county pet problem.
“The subdivision we live in is right up the street from here and there's people dropping animals off in there all the time. They just come in and dump ‘em and drive away,” Lou said.
The county then picks them up. On top of the crowding, four employees recently left the shelter.
“We really need homes for all these animals,” Peacock said.
The Douglas County shelter said it needs three things: Spaying and neutering, people to adopt the animals and volunteers to do the dirty work.