LYNDHURST, Va. (WHSV) – Leaders in Staunton, Augusta County and Waynesboro met today to discuss the Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center (SVASC) for their monthly Owners’ Meeting.
One of their topics of discussion was capacity. SVASC said they have 46 dog runs and 104 cat cages. They said they’re over capacity on Facebook.
Tim Fitzgerald reported numbers from shelter staff. They said they have 60 dogs in their care, with 26 staying in foster homes. They have 118 cats, with 69 staying in foster homes.
The shelter reported a save rate, as of Wednesday, of 96.2%. So far this year, they’ve had 708 animals come through their doors.
President of Augusta Dog Adoptions and shelter advocate Amy Hammer said the shelter is in a critical place, and they aren’t alone. Hammer said many shelters across the country are also over capacity.
Many people adopted pets during the pandemic, and most of them aren’t looking to adopt more for the time being.
“Right now, it’s just not as many adopters. Plus, some people are facing hardships because of the economy. They’re seeing more dogs and cats surrendered with less adoptions,” said Hammer.
On top of capacity, local leaders also discussed the fruitless search for a supervising vet. Many shelters have a vet on staff, but SVASC has been without one since the start of the year.
That means they can’t keep medication on-site, and vet care requires a special trip. Augusta County Administrator Tim Fitzgerald said they’ve put a request for proposals out for vets more than once, and they haven’t had any interest.
“A couple personal friends of mine are vets, and they just tell me ‘we’re covered up with our private work.’ They did say, if you’ve got an emergency and you need something done and you want any animal control officers to bring us an animal, we’ll do it for you.”
Shelter advocates who attended Thursday’s meeting raised their concerns over the vet issue. They wanted to be sure the cats and dogs were getting vaccinated for illnesses like parvo. They said even though it’s not required by state law, those vaccines are crucial, touching on herd health.
Fitzgerald said the shelter is working with a local vet to make sure vaccines stay up-to-date and take care of any other present health concerns.
At SVASC, fees are waived on dogs 6 months or older. To see what pets are available for adoption, visit their website or check them out on Facebook.
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