Greater Sudbury Animal Shelter at capacity for dogs, says co-ordinator

Greater Sudbury Animal Shelter is at the fullest it has been in at least two years, according to an animal care and control bylaw co-ordinator with the shelter. 

Shelter looking for people to adopt animals

The Greater Sudbury Animal Shelter says it is currently at capacity for dogs in its kennel. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

Greater Sudbury Animal Shelter is bursting at the seams.

The facility is the fullest it has been in at least two years, according to an animal care and control bylaw co-ordinator with the shelter. 

Bylaw co-ordinator Melissa Laalo said the shelter is at capacity for dogs, and has 50 cats in its care.

"Most of our animals are strays, so at large in the community. Somebody finds them and calls them in" Laalo said. 

"Hopefully we will reunite them with their owner and their family, but sometimes, in the chances we don't, we set them up for adoption."

When the shelter is at capacity, Laalo said it works closely with local animal rescue organizations and other Ontario SPCAs to find the cats and dogs homes.

Melissa Laalo is an animal care and control bylaw co-ordinator with the Greater Sudbury Animal Shelter. She says the shelter is the fullest it has been in two years. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

Laalo added the shelter does not euthanize animals.

"We do have a couple of kennels open for emergency cases and emergency strays," she said. "And then we have some open for emergency family situations and whatnot." 

She said there is a $355 fee to adopt a dog and a $230 fee to adopt a cat. That gets them spayed or neutered, microchipped and inoculated with all their required vaccinations. 

She added they are looking for people to adopt all the animals in their shelter.

Finding the right home

Barb McNamara manages the dog division with the SAINTS animal rescue organization in Sudbury. She said many people adopted dogs with the best intentions at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but their life circumstances may have changed since then, making it harder to care for the animal.

"It was absolutely crazy," McNamara said about that time period in 2020.  "I've never had that many emails. Just a lot of people, you knew it wasn't the right time or the right situation for them."

McNamara said SAINTS does a lengthy interview with anyone interested in adopting an animal to make sure they will be a good fit, and can handle the responsibility of pet ownership. Before the pandemic, they also did home visits.

"Now, we sort of do a home drive-by … people in the backyard and stuff like that," she said.

She said any future dog owners should consider the time commitment it will take to properly care for a dog and train it.

"I think most people that get a dog, they really, truly do want to care for that dog," she said.

"But things change and we can see all the shelters are filled. You know, it's not just Sudbury. It's all over. It's amazing how many dogs do get turned over every year."

With files from Markus Schwabe and Jonathan Migneault


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