COLUMBIA - Columbia Second Chance said Wednesday it is in extreme need of foster volunteers and cannot take in any more animals until more foster homes are found.
The no-kill facility is at capacity for both dogs and cats. It is currently housing 60 cats at the Boonville location. Being a no-kill organization, managers said it fills up faster than shelters that euthanize.
Adding to the full load of cats, the dog ranch will be closing for the winter. As temperatures continue to drop, the animals cannot be left outside for extended periods of time and it does not have enough caregivers to stay inside with the dogs. But the dogs at the ranch were quickly pushed into foster care, relieving some of the capacity before closing for the winter.
Columbia Second Chance gets about 50 percent of its cats from the public and the other half from shelters. Executive Director Valerie Chaffin said this time of year brings a natural influx for animals and that the economy plays a factor. Chaffin said if a family can't feed both its children and pets, the pets are the first to go.
The organization said once people go through the application process and are approved to be foster volunteers, it is fairly easy to accept another small addition into the family.
"We supply food, we supply bowls, litter, litter boxes, beds, toys and probably most importantly, veterinary care," Chaffin said.
Columbia Second Chance said all that is needed is a comfortable, accepting environment to give a temporary home to one of these animals. It said it is giving an urgent plea to community members to open their hearts this time of year and allow the facility to continue to be successful.