HOUSTON – Here is a Texas-sized problem that’s only getting bigger as we enter the new year. Big dogs are left to languish in animal shelters across the state, explained Kerry McKeel with Best Friends Animal Society.
According to a statistic with the society, hundreds of thousands of shelter animals are euthanized each year, simply because they do not get fostered or adopted.
Here in Texas, for every 10 dogs that enter an animal shelter, only four are adopted, explained McKeel.
KPRC 2′s Zach Lashway is the owner of a Saint Bernard named Sully.
At this very moment, thousands of cats and dogs call a Houston shelter home.
Multiple pups are packed into one pen at Harris County Pets, one of the thousands of shelters across the country inundated with animals with not a lot of help.
“There are only 15 kennel staff to care for all these animals,” said McKeel. “Harris County Pets and BARC, which is our Harris County municipal facility, and BARC our city facility, 40,000 animals come into the shelters between the two each year. That is enough to fill Minute Maid stadium with animals. From day to day, the intake process is usually in the hundreds, between Harris County and the City of Houston BARC shelter.”
McKeel said this does not include private shelters or rescues in the area. The bigger the dog, the less likely it is to leave the shelter.
“We are really talking about dogs that are over than 40 pounds. They have longer lengths of stay, they are often overlooked by adopters. Big dogs are loveable, and lap dogs, you don’t need to have a big house or a big yard,” McKeel said.
Best Friends Animal Society is a 100% foster based organization that works with shelters throughout Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery and Galveston counties.
“Through our foster program, everything is 100% free, it’s free to foster. We provide all the supplies, we provide the medical care while the animal is in your foster home. We are just asking for people to temporarily open their home for four to five weeks, it could be less, while we find that animal a home,” said McKeel.
Not all large dogs have a lot of energy or require exercise. Some big breeds make great apartment dogs.