Local animal shelter needs your help finding pets their “furever home”

PENDER COUNTY (WWAY) — With only 100 cages, the Pender County Animal Shelter is small but mighty. This year, they’ve had an influx of 130 animals, especially kittens, all at once. Now, they need the community’s help.

“And so all of a sudden, we just start flourishing in kittens,” said shelter manager, Jewell Horton. “And when it happens, it happens all at once. You don’t just get five or six… you start getting hundreds at one time.”

People have also returned animals for countless reasons. One puppy named Maximillian is crate trained and friendly, but was returned for chewing shoes. The financial impact of the pandemic is one major reason for returns.

“We still see a steady increase in intakes because of financial hardships,” said Horton. Someone comes to the door and they’re having to choose between dinner for their kids and dog food.”

As a municipal shelter, the Pender County Animal Shelter has to use euthanasia as the very last resort. It’s the reason Horton made a desperate plea on Facebook for locals to adopt.

“We haven’t done it in years. And we don’t want to start now,” Horton said. “And that’s really why that insanely desperate plea went out the other night. Because that is as close as I think we have been in a long time.”

Since that appeal, a few families have come to the shelter to find their “fur”ever friends. Horton says it will take a village to raise these kittens and pups.

“But the good definitely outweigh the bad. And this to shall pass, and does every year. Every year we go into crisis mode with the inundation of cute little kitten faces like that. But in the end, our wonderful amazing community always steps up for us.”

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