Too many strays has shelter putting up *no vacancy* sign

By Kathy Sweeney - bio | email

JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - Even with a much bigger building, Jackson's Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary is bursting at the seams.

The no-kill shelter is currently not accepting new animals, even though they keep coming.

"She's very vocal and has little feet, so we named her after Dolly Parton," Alice Wybert said as she pets a gray and white cat currently staying in her shelter.

But, while Dolly keeps one of her nine lives by staying here, she's got a lot of company.

"One month here we took in 73 animals," Wybert recalled. "That was a record. The next month, we took in 61. That was another record. Our usual high had been like 43."

To help care for the growing number of animals in her care, Wybert counts on volunteers, a number clearly heading in the opposite direction.

"August is usually a pretty bad month because kids are going back to school, teachers are going back to school, and the college is opening," Wybert said.

"It's hard work. We're all sweaty, but it's so rewarding," said volunteer Christine Spanley, who's been helping her for the past four years.

"This is the highest number of dogs I've ever noticed out here. The cats, there's a new batch of kittens every time I come out," Spanley said.

Alice Wybert says they need all kinds of volunteer help, from caring for the animals to washing dishes and doing laundry.  And, even with the shelter closed to new admissions, she still answered the call to rescue some abandoned kittens.

"And then I come out here and two puppies have been put in one of the pens, even after we said no vacancy. They're here, and you know, I'm not going to throw them out but I don't want people leaving them either. It's hot out there!"

Wybert says she plans to bring those puppies to KFVS12 Friday in hopes of adopting them through our station's pet segment on Heartland News at Noon.

Copyright 2010 KFVS. All rights reserved.