KHS closed to public due to lack of capacity
May 29, 2023
Kingston Humane Society (KHS) is closed to the public until Friday due to a lack of capacity.
While scheduled appointments and pound services with contracted municipalities will continue, the shelter is freezing visits and intakes for a week as a backlog of sheltered animals has become too much.
KHS announced in a release on Friday that they would have to temporarily close to the public due to being overwhelmed by the number of animals on hand, with a recent influx of stray dogs compounding an already present lack of space issue.
Executive Director Gord Hunter said that has become unsustainable and is forcing the shelter to take this action to get their heads back above water.
“Intakes of stray dogs have jumped dramatically in the last week to 10 days,” said Hunter.
“We either have to find a way to reduce our intakes or increase animals going into foster care or forever homes.”
Hunter points towards a need for more foster volunteers, particularly for dogs, to help take some of the animals away from the crowded space that KHS says sometimes holds as many as double the 144 animals the shelter is meant to hold.
He says current volunteers have made a huge difference in mitigating the over capacity issue but more volunteers are needed.
The Humane Society says visitation is back to pre-pandemic levels, which isn't a bad thing but can take staff away from their other duties and has contributed to a backlog of dogs KHS hopes to find foster homes or forever homes.
Hunter says that the overload isn't unique to Kingston unfortunately, with the number of people surrendering animals seemingly growing non-stop.
“Our list of people waiting to surrender animals seems to grow every day,” Hunter said.
“And animal control has brought in nine stray dogs since the weekend. We have to stem the tide of intakes for a few days in order to catch up and get some of these deserving animals out and into loving homes.”
The shelter says regular operations will resume before or on Saturday June 3.
Story by Owen Fullerton, YGK News, for the Local Journalism Initiative