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Andalusia Animal Shelter at full capacity

By: Donnamy Steele

Due to a surge of animal drop-offs and pets not being neutered or spayed, The Andalusia Animal Shelter is at max capacity according to animal care coordinator Corey Sowell. Sowell explained how to schedule an appointment and adopt a pet during the ongoing pandemic.

Sowell explained that it is important for pet owners to spay and neuter their animals.

“It’s summertime, which is kitten and puppy season. People aren’t neutering and spaying their dogs as they should, so there are lots of strays here. They are beautiful dogs,” Sowell said. “They just haven’t been taken care of so they end up here.”

Sowell said that the shelter is filled with animals at the moment, but the numbers vary. “We have 19 dogs in right now, but we have more coming and more cats as well. It varies each day. One day we may have 19 and the next we may have 45,” Sowell said. “It just depends day-to-day.”

“We have a lot of mixed breed large dogs right now. The small ones go fast, so we don’t have them for long. Our animals range in age from young to old and from medium to large sizes,” Sowell said. “We do not have small dogs or puppies as of today, but that could change.”

Throughout the summer, the Andalusia Animal Shelter is offering 50% off of adoption fees. Dogs can now be adopted for $20, and cats will be $10, Sowell said.

People can visit the shelter for more than adopting a pet, according to Sowell. The shelter also offers microchipping to ensure owners can keep track of their animals.

“We also offer microchipping, which many people may not know,” Sowell said. “It is $40 and a great way to keep track of your pet. This helps us to know whose animal it is if they show up here because we can scan them and figure out who they belong to.”

To avoid having a crowded waiting area, the shelter is only allowing people to visit by appointment.

“We are still taking animals in and adopting, but we are doing this by appointment only,” Sowell said. “Once someone calls and sets one up, they can come at their scheduled time.”

The staff tries to keep everyone updated through Facebook, but they have been busier than usual, said Sowell.

“If you want to just look around, give us a call. It’s hard to get pictures up each day because we are so busy, but we are doing the best we can right now,” Sowell said. “We became even more busy than usual once the virus hit and businesses started opening back up.”

Sowell explained that everyone at the shelter has been busy, but that they are trying their best to get in touch with everyone who reaches out.

“I know many people have had trouble reaching us through voicemail, but that is because we have been so busy. Anyone can call and leave a voicemail or message us on Facebook and we will get back to you as soon as we can.”

Due to restrictions set by the city, the shelter has adopted an appointment-only policy. “We are going by appointment only to abide by the law. We don’t want anyone to be mad, we just have to follow the city’s rules,” Sowell said. “Everyone is welcome to call or leave a voicemail. You can contact us on Facebook as well, but it is easier to talk on the phone because we can have the appointment book ready to go.”

The shelter is in dire need of flea and tick medicine, as well as cleaning supplies.

“We are always taking donations, and we need them right now,” Sowell said. “Food, flea and tick medicine, and large food and water bowls would be a big help.”

Due to the limitations on certain supplies after COVID-19, products such as bleach are needed at the shelter.

“We especially need cleaning supplies,” Sowell said. “Bleach is big for us right now. One gallon of bleach doesn’t go very far here. We are also in need of germ-x, lysol, and other cleaning supplies.”

Sowell wants everyone to be aware of the laws that are associated with animals during this time.

“There is up to a $500 fine for abandoning and discarding animals,” Sowell said. “It is against the law and we have been seeing this happen a lot here. People will drop off boxes filled with kittens and puppies. It is against the law and can be considered animal abuse.”

To avoid facing a fine, Sowell encourages people who are interested in bringing a pet to call in advance and schedule an appointment.

“We want people to call and schedule an appointment with us instead of leaving them on the doorstep.”

The Andalusia Animal Shelter is located at 101 Coliseum Ave, Andalusia, AL 36420. To schedule an appointment, call (334) 222-8705.