Metro Detroit animal shelters are facing overcrowding crisis

Animal shelters across Metro Detroit are sounding the alarm with no space for any more animals. Capacities are maxed out, making it hard to help pets in need.

Renee Hammac is taking Sir Barton home - this is the third time she's fostering a dog from Detroit Animal Care and Control. He had been scheduled to be put down - not because he's mean or sick - but simply because of overcrowding.

"We do seem to be having a capacity issue in Michigan and nationally," said Renee Wolfgramm, 24Pet, Midwest animal welfare director.

The Michigan Pet Alliance is calling it a capacity crisis and is trying to find solutions to the problems that shelters everywhere are facing each and every day.

"The tragedy of this is that there are not enough homes for these animals and all the rescue groups are full,"  said Mark Kumpf

Kumpf is the director of Detroit Animal Care and Control.

"The snapshot this morning was 157 dogs and 16 cats in the shelter - which is about double our regular capacity," he said. "And that number can go as high as 220."

He says up to 20 percent of the animals they are taking in may have to be euthanized because there's just no room.

"If we're not able to return them to the owner, put them into foster, adopt them to a new family or transfer the unfortunate reality is that euthanasia is an outcome," Kumpf.

Shelters say so many of the animals aren't strays - their pets that have been surrendered by their owners.

"We're seeing a lot of people that are having financial issues and don't have the means to take care of their animals so we're helping them do that," said Dr. Lara Silveri, facility medical director, Michigan Humane. "Because I think everybody deserves a pet."

Michigan Humane has a pet pantry to help families with food and services so they can keep their pets. They also need more people to foster and adopt older dogs and cats instead of just puppies and kittens.

"Most of our adult dogs have been pretty overlooked - that's somewhere where we're really hurting," said Silveri.

Redford is a perfect example of an older dog that's being overlooked at the shelter - but he's actually really special - and would make an incredible pet.

They all are - which is something Renee Hammac already knows.

"Everybody needs a second chance and these dogs are out here on the streets," she said. "And it's becoming winter - it's too cold - they need to be indoors."

"They just want your attention - they want your companionship - that's all they want is love."

If you're looking to adopt - or if your pet has gone missing - please check with Detroit Animal Care and Control as well as Michigan Humane and other area shelters.