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Shelters overcrowded with abandoned pets from evictions

"We've had at least 20 come in over the last weekend. We've had bout 40 come in this month that owners surrender as a direct result of eviction"

ST. LOUIS — The Center for Animal Rescue and Enrichment of St. Louis is running out of space to take in animals. 

Developer Cate Redfern predicts even more will come.

"We've had at least 20 come in over the last weekend. We've had bout 40 come in this month that owners surrender as a direct result of eviction," she said.

Shelters across the nation saw an influx of stray animals when spay and neuter efforts stopped in 2020 because of the pandemic. 

Adoptions are down as people begin to travel more. 

Now, without the eviction ban, people facing homelessness have nowhere to put their pets.

"The people who have been forced to give up their animals don't want to. These are not people who don't care. They're people who don't have an option," Redfern said.

They get daily calls from neighbors about pets left behind from evictions. They've had owners come by and hand over their pets themselves.

"When we get to a capacity of 105 dogs, where we are today, and our normal afternoon capacity is 70. Our staff only have the ability to give them two potty breaks a day, make sure that their kennels stay clean and that they stay fed," Redfern said.

Redfern said these animals are in desperate need of enrichment activities and loving homes.

"We're looking for foster families to take them into their homes for just a couple of days or a couple of weeks, and we're looking for volunteers who are willing to come in and walk dogs, take them for car rides, sit with them in the decompression room and just let them relax in a room that's quiet with a loving hand," Redfern said.

At this rate, they need to find foster homes for at least 5 dogs a day in order to maintain their operations and have space for incomers. 

"Our animals are stressed and our staff is stretched and we're really looking to our St. Louis community to help," Redfern said.

You can apply online to foster or volunteer to help. 

They also do walk-in foster appointments.

For more information about volunteering and donating, visit the CARE STL website.