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With animal shelter at capacity, people look to City of Perry for resolution

Lynne Gibbs says the Friends of Perry Animal Shelter is only allowed to have 60 animals at a time, and they're currently at 53

PERRY, Ga. — Around the state, animal adoptions have slowed since the COVID-19 pandemic began to slow down.

Now that one Perry animal shelter is at capacity, it's putting animal rescues in limbo and sparking a conversation on social media.

It started with a Facebook post -- the Friends of Perry Animal Shelter urging owners and rescuers to claim their pets or lose them entirely. 

"Just really was trying to get other rescues to realize this to step up and help to pull when were unable to and/or make the owners more motivated," Lynne Gibbs said.

Gibbs says their shelter and the city's animal control have a partnership. Because the city's animal control doesn't allow for outside adoptions, an animals only way out is through rescuers and owners.

She believes when shelters are full and can't rescue, there should be another emergency method to help once the shelter's at capacity.

"I think that the City of Perry needs to step up and have their own avenue for animals to get out other than rescue pull and owner reclaim for the 'just in case' backup that we get in the situation that we're in right now," she said.

As of July 2022, Perry's animal control has taken in 124 dogs and 178 cats this year. 

Lee Gilmour, the city manager, says council will meet in an effort to address overcrowding.

"What we're doing is we're going back to council and advising the partners are not able to take any animals at this time and get some determination from council about which way they want to go," Gilmour said. 

Gilmour says the city has seen the stir on social media about what role they should play. He say since the group has no space, the bigger issue is what the responsibility of the city would be relative to animals that gets called to pick up.

"We need to find some alternative possibly if our shelter is full and our partners facilities are full. In other words, there's no place for the animals to go and how do we address that?" Gilmour said. 

Gibbs says the shelter is only allowed to have 60 animals at a time, and they're currently at 53. Gilmour says some of their concerns are hiring additional people for services, adjusting hours, illegal drop-offs and how many animals would be viable for adoption. 

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