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'Busting at the seams' | Hancock County animal advocates awaiting new shelter

The shelter's director said in her six years with the department, they’ve never had to euthanize an animal because of space reasons.

GREENFIELD, Ind. — Animal shelters across the country are experiencing overcrowding as pet adoptions have slowed after high demand during the pandemic.  

Greenfield-Hancock Animal Management recently put out a plea on Facebook for more adoptions after struggling to find space.  

“Help us help these animals that have been neglected, surrendered or turned loose. They deserve better than to live in a shelter. We are a temporary house for them, but you are their and our last hope,” the post read.

The shelter said they pride themselves on being an open-admission shelter with a low euthanasia rate, but worried that without adoptions to free up space, they would need to consider it.  

RELATED: 'You are their and our last hope' | Greenfield animal shelter puts out plea for dog adoptions

The director said in her six years with the department, they’ve never had to euthanize an animal for space reasons.  

“It was really bad. We had 22 dogs, which we can hold comfortably about 12. So we were kind of busting at the seams,” said Amanda Dehoney, superintendent of Greenfield-Hancock Animal Management. “We’ve been doing free adoption promotions. Nothing was working. We were just not getting people coming in.” 

But their Facebook post worked, with more than a thousand people sharing it and several dogs being adopted. Dehoney said it gave her team some relief, but they are not out of the woods yet.  

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“Every time one would leave, two more would come in,” Dehoney said.  

She said it’s a constant battle animal shelters face.  

Credit: WTHR

“We have this waitlist of people who want to bring cats and dogs in and we are like, ‘Can you hold them for a few days, can you try friends, family, anything because we need to be your last resort.' We have no cage space. We don’t have good adoptions coming in,” Dehoney said.   

Dehoney said when an animal comes into a shelter, their behavior often changes, which can make it harder for them to find a new home.  

As of Monday morning, they had 19 cats and nine dogs.  

“It’s like puzzle pieces are trying to be placed in random spots and you are forcing them to fit. So it’s a struggle constantly working in a shelter,” she said. 

Credit: WTHR

Right now, the shelter is tight on space because they are waiting for a new building to be built. It’s slated for completion in spring 2022. Dehoney said that will help but it won’t erase the need for more adoptions and better pet ownership. 

“They are here, don’t forget. Come find them. Don’t forget your shelter because I think a lot of people don’t think of shelter animals. They think we are just the shelter to hold them but don’t think of adoptions coming out of them,” Dehoney said.  

Credit: WTHR

The shelter is located at 2195 W. U.S. 40. An adoption fee is $25 and the animal is spayed or neutered, vaccinated, dewormed and microchipped. 

You can find more information on how to adopt here

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