Local animal rescue faces unprecedented challenges amidst a surge in abandoned pets and limited adoptions

Shayla is a four-month-old kitten and the last of her litter at Saving Grace Animal Society is available for adoption. Photo was taken July 10. ECA Review/Handout
Written by ECA Review

King, a five-month-old Lab cross that is available for adoption at Saving Grace Animal Society. King has been in the care of Saving Grace for a few weeks being treated for infections, photo taken on July 8. ECA Review/Handout

Shayla is a four-month-old kitten and the last of her litter at Saving Grace Animal Society is available for adoption. Photo was taken July 10. ECA Review/Handout


Saving Grace Animal Society, a local organization dedicated to providing shelter and care for abandoned and neglected animals, is facing unprecedented challenges as they strive to fulfill its mission of helping as many animals as possible.

With a current population of 379 animals, the rescue is feeling the strain of the ongoing surge in abandoned pets and animals without owners.

Erin Deems, Executive Director of Saving Grace Animal Society, emphasizes the importance of rescuing animals and providing resources to help pet owners maintain their furry companions at home.

“We want to help as many animals as we possibly can,” Deems said. “But also keeping animals in homes is really important.”

The society runs with the help of its staff and volunteers. Anyone can volunteer their time and get involved by contacting Saving Grace.

Unfortunately, the organization is overwhelmed with the growing number of surrendered or abandoned pets.

“Right now, you know, all shelters are just inundated with people’s pets or animals they no longer want or can’t care for, or have no owners,” Deems reveals.

Deems also explained they are not seeing the same amount of people adopting as they have in the past. She explained she hopes as summer begins, more people start to adopt.

Adopting at Saving Grace is very streamlined; all pets available for adoption are posted on their Facebook page. Following initial contact, people will be provided with an application and, hopefully, leave with their new companion the same day.

Due to the surge in animals in need Saving Grace has been taking in the most dire cases instead of taking in every animal. Picking the most critical cases has also financially burdened Saving Grace.

“We could easily, if we said yes to every animal, take in 50 animals a day, but it’s just not possible,” Deems said. “There’s not really a positive thing happening in the rescue world right now, it’s all just a lot of pressure on us.”

To provide the best care possible for their residents, Saving Grace Animal Rescue employs trainers who enrich the animals’ lives and assess their behaviours. This process allows them to determine the most suitable homes for the animals and address any behavioural issues.

Financial support is crucial for the survival of Saving Grace Animal Rescue. Deems acknowledges the difficulty in securing donor dollars, saying, “Donations right now are also so few and far between.”

The rescue relies solely on public support, as they do not receive any government funding.

Deems explained they also try to do fundraisers but due to the number of organizations hosting them, they have become less effective.

Additionally, the rescue faces obstacles in establishing its veterinary clinic. Deems reveals progress has reached a standstill and they anticipate it will take over a year before they can call it their own.

Despite these challenges, the organization remains steadfast in their mission to rescue animals and provide them with a better future.

“Rescues used to be a lot easier,” Deems said. “It was easy to say yes to 20 dogs in a weekend and now we need one adoption to get one space.”

Jessica Campbell
ECA Review

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