Contra Costa Co. animal shelter copes with growing overpopulation issue

MARTINEZ, Calif. (KTVU) - The Contra Costa County Animal Services Shelter in Martinez is trying to cope with a growing overpopulation issue.

Recently someone dumped a tiny live dog in an overnight drop box meant for dead animals. "That is our dead animal box," said the shelter's volunteer manager, Cindy Smith. She explained the box is meant for roadkill. "It's roadkill. I hate the term."

It is just a symptom of the problem at the shelter. Too many dogs coming in, not enough being adopted out. "Yep, we run on full here," explained volunteer, Angela Craig.

"A lot of times we have to put more than one dog in kennels. You can see puppies down there that were dumped, all in one kennel there." Down the row, half a dozen Labrador/pit bull mix puppies barked and clamored to get out of their kennels.

"We're seeing an incredible amount of intake of ‘pittys' (pit bulls) right now," explained Smith. Half the shelter's dog population is pit bull mix. "Pit bulls seem to be the ones that unfortunately have a bad reputation," Smith said. "Even though they're some of the nicest dogs."

On Sunday, March 15th the Contra Costa County Animal Services shelter in Martinez will host a "St. Pitty's Day" adopt-a-thon from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

All pit bull mix dogs and puppies will have adoption fees knocked down to $50.

Regularly adoption fees start at $150. Anyone who adopts a pit bull that day also gets free training for the new pet.