ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) - Currently, the Athens-Limestone Animal Shelter is housing nearly 100 cats. Their capacity is about 40.
Shelter cat director Jocelyn Ragoza says the problem is not enough funding to spay and neuter cats.
“Last month we took in 186 cats. This month so far, we’re up to 89. That averages about three cats a day, every single day, for seven days,” Ragoza said.
Typically, the Athens-Limestone Shelter sees an influx of cats and kittens from the beginning of May until August.
It's almost October and they're still seeing a high number of felines coming in.
“We need better funding for this spay and neutering of Limestone County. Whether its cats or dogs but that is our biggest concern. This past week, I helped a guy with 20 cats from one house. I like working with him, 20 cats from one house is a lot. It puts a drain on our resources and we don’t have many resources," Ragoza explained.
For a while, Limestone Vet Clinic veterinarian Dr. Robert Pitman paid for spay and neutering out of his own pocket.
“I thought I was losing maybe four to five thousand dollars a month. I’m losing about 28-thousand dollars a month. I took these figures to the city council and said here’s the deal, we have to do something to get this under control. I can’t keep doing this,” Pitman said.
This isn't the first time Limestone County has seen an animal reproduction issue.
Dr. Pitman has even tried to accommodate lower-income families with animals to help the problem.
“Anybody on medicaid or below the poverty line or income below 20-thousand a year, we’ll spay or neuter their animals for $20. It costs me about $150 to do them. That’s our contribution to try and get people to spay and neuter their cats,” Pitman continued.
There’s also issues with breeders in the Limestone County area. Pitman says people are breeding dozens of cats and dogs every year.
Dr. Pitman says, for years the shelter was euthanizing animals because of state law.
He doesn’t want to resort to that now.
To learn more about shelter hours and adoptions, click here.