South Bay animal shelter critically overcrowded, seeking help

The San Jose Animal Services and Care Center is currently facing a critical situation as it has reached its capacity to care for animals – some pets are even being turned away due to the overcrowding.

The animal center, which typically cares for 400 to 500 animals, is currently housing approximately 860 animals, far exceeding its usual capacity.

Due to the overcrowding, the shelter has been forced to turn away animals. 

On Thursday, they had to decline intake of several cats. To accommodate the excess animals, the shelter is utilizing rooms that are not normally used for housing animals. Currently, they are only able to accept animals that are sick, injured, or exhibit aggressive behavior.

San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan visited the shelter to raise awareness about the issue. He emphasized the importance of community support in providing effective city services, such as animal care services. Mahan expressed concerns about the increasing number of people who have decided they are unable to handle the responsibility of owning a pet in recent years.

"We really need to encourage the community to help us," he said. "Unfortunately, we've had far too many people in recent years decide they can't handle it."

Mahan acknowledged that the worst-case scenario would involve euthanizing animals if the overcrowding continues.

This issue of shelter overcrowding is not limited to San Jose alone but is occurring across the country, from California to Arizona and Virginia. Many attribute the problem to rising inflation rates, which have impacted the cost of pet food and care, making it increasingly difficult for individuals to afford.

Shelters are urgently appealing to the public for assistance by adopting or fostering animals. 

The San Jose Animal Services and Care Center has seen a positive response in dog adoptions, which have increased by approximately 20% compared to last week. Foster placements have also risen by about 45%. 

However, the shelter still encourages the public to step forward and provide support. It is important to note that animal adoptions and fostering opportunities extend beyond dogs and include cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and even pigeons.