EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) — Animal shelters across our area are being pushed to the limit.

Many are full or over capacity, and some are dealing with staffing shortages, making the issue even worse.

Shelter workers say there are multiple factors at play, agreeing that the COVID pandemic is one of them.

“Everyone was home wanting to have a pet,” Potter League Chief Mission Officer Todd Cramer explained. “Years worth of adoptions happened in a short period of time, but service needed to support adoptions waned.”

As a result, animals are having litters, and they have nowhere to go but the shelter.

On top of that, adoptions have been low for about a year, East Greenwich Animal Protection League Heart of RI Executive Director Tammy Gallo said.

“I don’t know if it’s the economy, I don’t know if it’s lack of being able to get pet care,” Gallo said.

Gallo said they aim to have about 30 animals. Right now, they have 50.

“Every day we’re getting requests for people to surrender dogs, cats…We just got a Shitzu in about ten minutes ago,” she added.

Gallo said there are ways people can help:

  • Volunteer at a local shelter
  • Donate to a local shelter
  • Foster an animal short-term
  • Adopt, if you’re able

“I can guarantee you, they actually know they’ve been rescued, and they’ll love you for the rest of their lives,” Gallo said.

If you’re interested in adopting or fostering, the Potter League and EGAPL Heart of RI have more information available on their websites.