ROANOKE, Va. – August is normally one of the busiest months for animal shelters in the area – in part due to kitten season – But this year other factors come into play, making it makes it even busier than usual.

Area shelters are seeing an increase in pet admissions, and to help, 10 News is participating in Clear The Shelters, an annual national pet adoption and shelter donation campaign run by NBCUniversal. Local.

Through this campaign, you can help local shelters in the area by finding survivors a loving home.

Julie Rickmond of the Roanoke Valley SPCA said shelters in the area are seeing a drastic increase in the number of animals in need of shelter.

“What we’ve seen this year is that owner waivers have really increased,” Rickmond said.

Rickmond said the housing crisis has caused an influx of animals into shelters. In June, the Regional Animal Care and Protection Center received four times the number of animals in other months. The RVSPCA obtains approximately 60% of its animals from the RCACP.

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“People are being forced out of their homes, getting evicted, having to find other homes for themselves and they may not be able to take their pets with them. So that makes all of our shelters in our area very, very full,” Rickmond said.

And on top of that, local shelters are helping with the thousands of beagles rescued from Envigo, a facility that breeds beagles for medical research. A federal judge has issued an emergency order imposing a series of restrictions on the Virginia dog-breeding facility after regulators said the site was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of beagle puppies.

“We’ve had over four thousand dogs going into the population. We currently have a dog in our care that came from a hoarding situation of over 500 puppy mill dogs,” Rickmond said.

And there are those pets, mostly large dogs, who have already been waiting too long in shelters.

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As the numbers keep growing, employees like Rickmond know that every animal has its own story.

Now they need their perfect match.

“The more people talk about these available pets and their specialness and quality, the more we can be adopted and find those loving homes,” Rickmond said.

10 News will feature a new animal each weekday for the Clear The Shelters campaign. Each post will feature a new animal, more information about the animal, and adoption information.

You can find 10 News’ 2022 first story of Clear The Shelters here.

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