ST. LOUIS – Some St. Louis area pet shelters are no longer taking in animals due to overcrowding. That means many dogs and cats are left without homes.

“Yes, we have more animals than we’ve ever had in our history,” said Aimee Bearsley, chief development officer for Stray Rescue of St. Louis. “I think we have around 550 or 560 animals in our system. So that all the animals that live in the shelter, our cats that are in foster homes. We have animals coming out of our ears, and they need homes, and we want people to come adopt.”

Across St. Louis and the entire bi-state region, sobering statistics indicate that area animal shelters are at capacity, and they are in desperate need of help.

“The homeless problem is always an issue with strays on the street that need help,” Bearsley said. “Families are still struggling, and they’re having a hard time feeding their animals, and they’re having a hard time with vet care. Sometimes their only option is to surrender their animals, so we’re seeing a lot of that.”

Stray Rescue will hold an adoption event on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Imo’s pizza will also pay the adoption fees for any animal six months and over at the event.

“During COVID, when people were isolated, we did see a lot of our animals go home for foster and adoption,” Bearsley said. “And as the world has sort of opened back up again, we’re seeing some animals come back, so there is still some of that going on as well.”

Stray Rescue needs foster animal parents and asks anyone to come to their Saturday event.