Wildomar animal shelter sees a sharp increase in owners turning in their pets

WILDOMAR, Calif. (KABC) -- Animal Friends of the Valleys in Wildomar is seeing a sharp increase in unwanted animals coming into its shelter. The dogs and cats are not the results of more animal control officers rounding up strays but of owners dumping them.

"When owner turn-ins are more than the strays we are picking up on the street there is a problem," said Animal Friends of the Valleys Animal Control Chief Mo Middleton.

This past Sunday, the non-profit shelter processed nearly 40 dogs, cats, and kittens including a eight-year-old Rottweiler named Roxie.

"Unless we get him up and make him walk around, he is laying there waiting and that is all he is doing and he is grieving," said Middleton.

Already the shelter is caring for nearly 200 dogs and 300 cats and kittens with the knowledge more are coming everyday.

"This is what the night drop looks like when we come in the morning it will be completely full," said Middleton pointing to the overnight bins. A senior bulldog which appeared to have cataracts in both eyes was still wearing his walking harness.

"There are instances when people can not legitimately take their dog with them and we understand," she said.

Middleton said many owners dump their pets in overnight bins to avoid the shame of surrendering animals from their forever homes.

"They need to let us know if it is house trained, does it play with toys, is it good children, is he good with other dogs, is it good with cats. These are things that help us get the animal adopted out. "

The influx led the shelter to post a strongly worded post on its Facebook page questioning pet owners and condemning them for not properly spay or neutering.

"We can actually spay and neuter your dog for free there is no excuse at this point."

But for those looking to surrender their pets Middleton has this request, "During any holiday we are over run with owner turn-ins and if they would actually give us a little break during that time, be responsible hold on to that pet let us get through our holiday season. Let us get through our kitten season and then bring your pet in."

To help clear the shelter they are offering $5 adopts on cats and some breeds of dogs.
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