MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - Animal shelters along the Grand Strand are dealing with serious overcrowding issues. Some say this is one of the worst years ever.
At Coastal Animal Rescue in Murrells Inlet, the shelter is at max capacity. The founder says they have been since they opened.
The most easily fixed part of the problem, shelter organizers say, lies within the fact that there are owners who don't get their pet spayed or neutered. That would make a huge difference.
Most offer spay and neuter clinics at reasonable prices to entice people to bring animals in. But shelters say as hard as they try, the population doesn't seem to change.
David Parks, the founder of Coastal Animal Rescue in Murrells Inlet says it is a problem that affects everyone in the community. Even if you don't have pets, a large population of stray animals in your neighborhood can cause problems.
"Anything from complaints from animals digging in dumpsters, to having kittens in your backyard that are from feral cats," Parks says. "Stray cats doing harm to bird sanctuaries and property damage and on and on."
Shelter employees say they would like to see an ordinance drafted to require pet owners to spay and neuter their animals. That way people who don't necessarily feel like that have to take their animal to the clinic would make the effort, by law.
Park says those who work at the shelters try to find new ways to get people thinking about animals.
"We do a lot of things like educating children, which passes onto their parents when the little kid goes home and asks 'Mama why is little Buffy not spayed?' You know just educating the public. We try to do that as much as we can," Parks added.