Oakland Animal Services is seeing a surge in people surrendering their dogs and the shelter is getting crowded. Ann Dunn is the director at OAS.
Lisa: So what’s going on here at Oakland Animal Services?
Ann: Well, on the challenging side, what’s going on is that our intake is going up for big dogs especially. This is a trend that really started the beginning of 2023 and has just continued to get worse. We’re doing everything we can to save these dogs, but it is getting harder and harder. Numbers wise.
Lisa: How full are you here?
Ann: Almost at double capacity in terms of the amount of space that we have for dogs. We have more dogs today than we have in the last four years.
Lisa: What is the reason why people are telling you that they’re having to surrender their dogs?
Ann: You know, it’s really the housing crisis. A lot of people are looking for affordable housing that allows them to have animals and being unable to find that. And so we’re seeing a huge increase in the number of people who are newly homeless or are choosing between being housed and keeping their pets.
Lisa: So will you have to euthanize any of the dogs?
Ann: I want to be perfectly honest. We are at the cusp very frequently of having to euthanize dogs for space and making that distinction. These are adoptable dogs. These are great dogs. We would not be euthanizing them for any other reason than we do not have enough space.
Lisa: Are you seeing dogs coming in every day to Oakland Animal Services?
Ann: We see an average of ten dogs every day. Every day.
Lisa: So what can people do to help you?
Ann: Adopt! I would say what we need most is people taking these dogs permanently. Of course, we have an incredible foster program for the dogs. And so fostering, while it might not seem like a big deal, is literally saving a life.
Lisa: Ann Dunn, thank you.
Ann: Thank you for coming out.
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