MUNCIE, Ind. — Muncie Animal Care and Services, the city’s animal shelter, is running low on resources after taking in nearly 100 animals in just a few days.
And with available supplies and manpower already running low from those rescues, shelter officials said on Friday they were aware of several more abandoned homes that have animals that need to be taken in by the shelter.
The shelter started June with an animal hoarding case in Yorktown. Animal control officers were called in to seize at least 50 cats from a house in the 1700 block of South Oakdale Drive the evening of June 1.
The house was unfit for human or animal habitation and the property owner and cat owner were no longer living there; the cats were abandoned inside with no food or water, officials said.
Officials on scene needed full face respirators and Tyvek suits, as the conditions were hazardous and they had to deal with an infestation of bed bugs. Ultimately the shelter removed at least 57 cats from the property.
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Ethan Browning, the shelter’s director, said that case alone put the shelter at capacity. This became even more of a problem as additional calls for rescuing abandoned animals kept coming as the week continued.
“Hoarding plus abandonment calls have reached a epidemic and now have us in a state of emergency,” Browning said in a message to The Star Press.
The shelter has received four additional reports of abandoned houses with dozens more animals that the shelter needs to take in.
Browning said animal control officers are working night and day to keep up with the influx in calls, taking in 91 animals in just the first two days of June. One thing that also puts pressure on the shelter this time of year is kitten season, which always causes an influx of animals at the shelter.
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Regarding the additional reports of animals abandoned in houses, Browning said, “We can’t get to them until we have supplies. Pet stores around here are out.”
The shelter is in desperate need of plastic transport carriers, wire crates, kitten food, pate wet food, non-clumping litter and more. A GoFundMe fundraiser is posted on the shelter’s Facebook page. As of Friday, the shelter had reached $3,155 raised of a $1,000 goal.
Because of the influx of animals, the shelter is hiring additional part-time animal control officers. Interested applicants can apply at the City of Muncie’s Human Resources website.
Corey Ohlenkamp is the city/county government reporter. Contact him via email at [email protected] or by phone at 765-213-5874. Follow him on Twitter at @Ohlenkamp.