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Tue, May 17

No room at the inn: Mohave County animal shelter operating at ‘at least’ 100% capacity

These animals are among those available for adoption from a packed Mohave County Animal Shelter. (Courtesy photos)

These animals are among those available for adoption from a packed Mohave County Animal Shelter. (Courtesy photos)

KINGMAN – The Mohave County Animal Shelter is “at least at 100% capacity,” and is putting out a call to community members able to adopt, foster and help provide the facility with the tools they need to keep their animals healthy and happy.

Nicole Mangiameli, shelter manager, said the facility is at the very least at capacity, and is currently pairing up dogs within a single kennel so as to make additional room for yet more animals.

“Seemingly, there is an uptrend in dogs being surrendered at not just our shelter, but it seems more than countywide,” she said. “This is a problem at least around Arizona right now and Nevada as well. It’s always hard to track these things and understand why so many are being brought in now, but I think part of it may be people are in transition, post-COVID, having to move. There could be many circumstances contributing to this problem.”

The majority of the dogs currently at the shelter are large, Mangiameli said, “and we only have so many spaces to keep them.”

For example, a number of kennels are left open for use in the event animal control must add a temporary resident to the shelter.

Mangiameli said right now, the shelter doesn’t have space to set those cages aside.

“We have just as much as we can handle right now without it being a super crisis,” she said. “But we definitely need the public to step in if they can.”

Friends of Mohave County Animal Shelter is currently subsidizing adoption fees to help with the overflow of animals. All dogs over 30 pounds and 1-year-old are $40, while cats and kittens are $25.

“There are so many good dogs down there, people I think would be shocked,” Mangiameli said. “And there are so many different breeds; something for everyone and a size for everyone.”

The subsidized adoptions will last for a number of weeks, or until the shelter reaches a more-manageable population.

“We do everything possible to save all these dogs,” Mangiameli said, reminding the community that animals are not euthanized but rather transferred to fosters and rescues. “But we do need the public’s help.”

And currently, rescues are strapped, too. Mangiameli said those facilities are experiencing the same influx of animals as the shelter. While the shelter will continue to utilize rescues as much as possible, Mangiameli reminded community members of the opportunity, and importance, of fostering animals.

“Fostering is a win because if I have five fosters who can take a bigger dog for a week or so, that dog gets socialized, can learn some manners, and exercise playing with the family and going for walks,” she said. “Now you have a happier dog. If it has to come back to the shelter, the dog is in a better situation to be adopted.”

In fact, the shelter’s manager said not only dogs, but cats and kittens as well, are more adoptable after being fostered.

“The dogs that come out of foster are always more adoptable,” she continued. “Kittens that go into foster are ultimately more adoptable because they’re friendly. This is why fostering has a very large impact on adoption rates; a happier animal goes to a family faster. And it makes temporary room in the shelter so we can take in more, as many as we have to.”

Anyone interested in fostering dogs, cats, puppies or kittens should inquire at 928-753-2727. Rescues with room for animals are also encouraged to contact the same number and ask for Emily.

“The biggest difference between us and rescues is when rescues are full they can say no, Mangiameli said. “The county shelter does not say no; we take in animals from the public. No matter how full we are, we continue to take them in. It’s not ideal, but it’s a service to the citizens.”

That also means the shelter is in continuous need of supplies ranging from food to towels and blankets.

“We continually ask for blankets and towels because those things don’t last very long at the shelter,” Mangiameli said, noting those can be washed as much as 10 times a week. “Blankets, towels and sheets are fabulous; that need will never end. It doesn’t matter what condition they’re in.”

Even cleaning supplies, such as dish soap, are much appreciated. The same goes for canned food for cats and dogs, as well as non-clumping litter.

“That just impacts our budget in a good way because we can spend more money on taking care of the animals and our veterinary bills and things like that,” Mangiameli said. “And I’m always in desperate need for dog and cat toys. Toys are a huge need and don’t last very long. But boy do our animals respond well when they have a toy in our enclosure.”

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