FRANKLIN COUNTY, Mo. – The record flash flood from July 26-28 caused many animal shelters to be overcrowded including Franklin County Humane Society which is two and half times its normal capacity.

The shelter has been filling up quickly and every kennel, crate, and floor space has been filled with dogs and cats. They are using any free space to house the animals including outside and in the bathroom

The shelter stated for the first time they had to stop bringing in animals because there was no room. They had to implement an intake freeze.

“If somebody finds a stray, they’re going to have to hold on to it because we don’t have a place to put it,” said Mary Lovern, secretary of Franklin County Humane Society Board and foster parent. “We have a dog that’s been living in our office with office staff for several months.”

There are 256 animals in need of a home.

Several factors including a return to the office after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, inflation, and recent extreme weather have led to overpopulation at animal shelters.

“People are unable to care for the pets, they’re paying way more for food, and gasoline, etc and a pet is an extra expense,” said Lovern. “A lot of people got pets during the pandemic, but now they’re finding out they don’t have time for them.”

Lovern said they need foster parents or adoptions so they can free up space to bring more animals into the shelter.

“We just need to get animals out of here right now, so we can have some space available!” said Lovern.

The Franklin County Humane Society will be hosting an open-door event on Monday to try to entice more people to foster. It will run from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

To find more information to adopt or foster an animal visit their website at https://fchsmo.org/.