Watch CBS News

Front Street Animal Shelter overcrowded, some kennels hold 2 or more dogs

Front Street Animal Shelter overcrowding issues continue
Front Street Animal Shelter overcrowding issues continue 01:58

SACRAMENTO — Animal shelters are full, and critics are concerned Sacramento's Front Street Shelter could make the problem worse.

Front Street Animal Shelter consistently struggles with overcrowding.

"It's definitely getting worse," said Ryan Hinderman, from the shelter. "We're doing everything we can"

In December, they held a drive-through foster event trying to place dogs in new homes.

But now, just weeks later, the shelter once again has two or more dogs in kennels, and CBS13 has learned that some male and female dogs that have not been spayed and neutered are being kept in the same cages.

"We're so full that we have to choose between co-housing dogs or euthanizing for space, which is not something that we or anyone else out there wants," Hinderman said.

"That should be unacceptable," said Julie Viga, an animal advocate with the volunteer group Fix Front Street.

Members of the group say it could actually make the pet overpopulation problem worse.

"It's a travesty, to say the least, that animals could come into the shelter and become pregnant in the shelter," Virga said.

"This is just an unacceptable way of sheltering," said Elyse Mize with Fix Front Street.

The group has released a video of what they say is two shelter dogs trying to mate.

"They show a male and a female dog in the act of breeding stuck together," Mize said.

But shelter officials say pairing dogs of the opposite gender is common practice because they are less likely to fight.

"The chances of a dog getting pregnant and having puppies is very low," Hinderman said.

So how does Front Street prevent unaltered dogs from getting pregnant?

"A female dog needs to be in heat, that happens a couple of times a year for a week or two," Hinderman said. "If we notice that a female dog is in the heat we will not pair that dog with usually any dog, let alone an unaltered male."

Both sides say the solution is to get more animals into forever homes.

"Every day that they don't, more animals die," Virga said.

"Adopting is the number one way that people can help us right now," Hinderman said.

The shelter has dropped adoption fees to $25 and is waving them all together for veterans.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.