The summer months aren't easy for the Humane Society of Central Texas. The shelter has been at capacity for the last two weeks.
Right now, there are 346 cats, dogs, puppies and kittens in need of forever homes.
"It's tough seeing these cages full every day," said Leo Delgado, adoption coordinator for the Humane Society of Central Texas. "You know, you just kind of stop and think, 'What else can I do, what haven't we tried.'"
Don Bland is the executive director of the Humane Society of Central Texas. He said the summer presents a lot of obstacles for the shelter.
He said many college students surrender or dump their animals at the end of the school year. Some families do the same when they go on vacation.
"We had some people that had a dog for 14 years, they raised it since it was a puppy," Bland said. "They were tired and decided they wanted to spend the summer traveling in their motor home and didn't want to take the dog so they surrendered the dog after 14 years."
Bland said they also lose of a lot of volunteers over the summer, since many of them are students, making it difficult to handle all of the animals coming in during the peak of kitten and puppy season.
"We always struggle during the summer and we look for creative ways to get animals out," Bland said.
Those tactics include giving some of the longest residents away for free, posting pictures all over social media and hosting mobile adoption events.
"We take them out into downtown Waco, we go walking. Just do anything to say, 'Hey you might not be looking for this dog, but she's looking for you,'" Delgado said.
Delgado has built a strong bond with one dog named Journey who's on the shelters Urgent List. There are about 10 dogs on the list that are at risk of being euthanized.
"She's a great dog. She knows how to speak. She's so smart," Delgado said.
Delgado refuses to give up on Journey and all of the other creatures in the shelter who have fallen down on their luck. He's hoping to match each of them with their perfect family soon.
"You know, you see them walking through the front door and your eyes light up like, 'Yes, I have the dog for you,'" Delgado said. "I don't know who you came in for, but I'm going to show you this dog."
The Humane Society of Central Texas prides itself on maintaining a live exit rate of more than 90 percent, but without enough space, there's only so much that can be done to save these animals.
"Everybody can do something to help these animals find homes," Bland said. "Volunteer, share our posts on Facebook, that's something that you can always do. Donate, sponsor an animal to get adopted if you can't foster. If you can foster, that's a great thing too."
To find out how you can adopt, donate, foster or volunteer, click here.
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