The largest no kill animal shelter in Arkansas has almost 130 people on a wait list to surrender their animals.
‘It’s a reflection of the problems in the community that these animals don’t have homes,” said Amber Neal, a shelter manager at HOPE Humane Society.
The shelter is forced to turn animals away because they’re too full.
“We can only imagine what might happen to some of those animals because we can’t provide a space right now,” said Terrance Richardson, Asst. Director for the shelter.
As crates and kennels line the halls of the shelter, a wait list was it’s only option.
“None of them deserve to be here. And they’re here because there aren’t enough homes,” said Neal.
Neal said the reason people want to give up their pups or cats vary.
“The often excuse is we’ve had moving, a death in the family, no longer wants,” said Neal.”We’ve even had the reason of it’s too cuddly.”
To combat continuing to get liters of puppies, Neal wants more animal protection or spay and neuter laws.
“It’s just an active responsibility. And if you don’t want to spay and neuter your animals don’t let them out to have babies,” said Neal.
She said, the shelter is working on a plan to present to city officials to encourage better care of animals.
“They’re starving. They aren’t wild animals. These are animals that depend on people,” said Neal.
If something isn’t done soon, Neal is worried more dogs will be dumped, abused or even killed.
KNWA reached out to Fort Smith city officials, and have yet to hear back. We will update this story once we do.