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Many local animal shelters noticing more abandoned pets - KOAM TV 7

Many local animal shelters noticing more abandoned pets

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Spring and summer months are a busy time for many animal shelters across the Four states.  Workers at some of them say they've been seeing more abandoned pets now, compared to years past.

Melinda Mayfield owns the only animal shelter in Cherokee County, Kansas.  She cares for abandoned dogs and cats every day of the year, of course, but...

"We see more in the spring time and summer when the weather is better," says Mayfield.

"It's overwhelming," says Irene Keheley, manager of the Animal Welfare Society in Miami, Oklahoma.

The Animal Welfare Society right now has 75 dogs and 50 cats, all abandoned.

"People say they can survive better, because it is nicer weather, so they're more apt to dump them," says Mayfield.

"They usually end up starving.  Then they get sick from the stuff that they do eat.  The drink dirty water," says Keheley.

Workers at the Animal Welfare Society say they've recently seen double the number of abandoned cats and dogs.  Mayfield says there's one other reason why animal shelters have seen this increase.

"I have seen a decline in breeders.  The number of breeders, it seems like, a lot of them are going out.  And when that happens, we have some really good breeders.  And a lot of them, they will bring them to us when they retire them to find them a new home, or they adopt them out.  But there are some that just turn them loose," says Mayfield.

There's also fewer people wanting to adopt an animal.

"And I think a lot of it has to do with the economy," says Keheley.

Animal shelter workers say they'll do whatever it takes to keep up with this need for care.  The job may be tough, but they say there's a great reward.

"You can look in their eyes, you can just see the adoration they have for you.  'Oh my god, you're giving me food!  you're giving me a place to sleep.  I don't have to fend for myself and hide in the bushes and stuff.'  They can be some of the most loyal pets you'll every have," says Mayfield.

The owner of "All God's Creatures" animal shelter has shipped some pets to Minnesota and New York, where there are tougher laws that help to ensure those pets will find a good home. 

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