In these past few weeks, we’ve had several incidents of illegal dumping. Injured and non-injured kittens and cats have been left at our front doors or at our gates when we are closed. We are grateful that our community sees us as a place of resource and kindness but we beseech you to please understand that these illegal acts of dumping puts heavy strain on our adoption centers, specifically our cat adoption center, and our staff. It is also a very unsafe act for the animal who is being dumped as you never know what could happen in between the time the animal is dumped to when they are able to be helped.
While we would love to help all animals that need our help, our intake space is limited. When these illegal acts of dumping occur, it forces us to close our doors to animals we can rescue from a high-kill shelter, which is where many of our cats and dogs are rescued from.
Our facilities may look large, but our intake space is fairly small. When you walk into our adoption centers, what you see is our adoption floor. The intake space is not accessible and visible to the public, and it is where new animals who come into our center stay as we quarantine them, vaccinate them, and if they are not spayed and neutered, they must wait here for their surgery appointments. This is for the safety of the new animal coming into our center, but also for the current animals we are responsible for that are on the adoption floor.
On our cat side, our intake space only has the capacity to hold 18 animals at any given time. Sometimes, we have foster families who can help assist us so that we have more room to rescue more animals from high-kill shelters who are, unfortunately, going to be euthanized. But even with the aid of our foster families, sometimes it is never enough. Between caring for the animals on the adoption floors, those in our ISO rooms, and then the animals in our intake room, plus having to handle adoptions when they occur, our animal care staff will often find themselves exhausted by the end of the day.
When illegal dumping occurs, it puts a strain on our center and staff and our endless work of uniting dogs and cats with loving people seems even more hopelessly endless.
Here’s how you can help.
- If you are in a situation where you are thinking about/have thought about dumping an animal for whatever reason, whether it’s your own or an animal you found, please pause! Dumping an animal is illegal and is not safe for the animal. What if the animal escapes, or what if someone notices the animal too late, or what if someone with unkind intentions passes by and sees the helplessly dumped animal? Please contact your local animal shelter/rescue first to see what your options are. If a shelter/rescue cannot help you at the moment, please understand it is in many cases, if not all, due to the simple fact that their facility is at full capacity. If you wait a few days or weeks, space may clear up and a facility can then safely take in your animal.
- If you have found a stray animal, please understand that not all shelters/rescues can take in strays. We at Valley Animal Center are not licensed to take in strays, nor are we a holding facility. The reason we often redirect people to Fresno Humane or CCSPCA is because they are licensed to take in strays and thus have the capability to allow stray holds in case the “stray” is not a stray and had an owner! If you find a stray, please don’t let dumping the animal at a shelter be your first choice! We ask that you please do your part to see if the stray you’ve rescued is in reality someone’s beloved pet who is missing.
- Please be patient and understanding towards us and our fellow shelters/rescues. We all have the goal of helping animals in need and it is just as heartbreaking for us to turn an animal away due to our limited space and resources. If that is the case, please care for the animal and contact us again at a later date to see if space has opened up. Also, do utilize the community! You might not realize it but we are so fortunate to be in a community of animal lovers and animal advocates. If you are in a situation where you yourself are not able to care for an animal, someone in your community just might be able to do so instead!
Whether it’s the first resort or the last resort, dumping does NOT have to be the choice you make.
Valley Animal Center
At Valley Animal Center, we see pets as lifelong companions and strive to find our animals a furever home that remains furever. Our mission is to unite dogs and cats with loving people. We understand happy furever homes begin with informed adopters and easily accessible resources. Through a holistic approach to pet ownership and pet care, we provide health and wellness services to our adopters and pet owners in the Central Valley. With our low-cost clinic and membership based dog park, as well as through humane educational resources found through our website, we aim to be the leading source of health and well-being for companion animals so that pets and pet owners are furever healthy and happy.