Faithful Friends Animal Shelter is at capacity and needs donations

New Castle area animal welfare and no-kill shelter Faithful Friends of Animals have officially reached maximum capacity amid a trend of declining foster and adoption numbers.

The announcement was made on October 3 via a Facebook post, exactly three months after the group moved into its upgraded facility at 165 Airport Road near New Castle.

“The requests for help never end,” a Facebook post said. “Our team is working hard to continue saving lives.”

A maximum of 65 dogs and 200 cats are held at the New Castle-area facility, but that number represents only half of the animals in the group’s care through its foster network.

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Shelters are “in crisis” nationwide

Since the beginning of this year, Faithful Friends has taken in about 1,300 animals. This consumption rate is lower than it was this time last year, in part because animals are staying in shelters longer and not being adopted out.

According to Kayla Mullen, marketing director for Faithful Friends Animal Society, puppies and kittens that would normally be adopted within days now stay at the shelter for an average of 75 to 100 days.

“We’ve been swinging at this extreme capacity for the last couple of weeks,” Mullen said. “But we can only save so many animals.”

With less than two months left in 2023, 984 dogs and cats have been adopted so far this year. Last year, 1,592 animals found new homes.

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It’s not just loyal friends who suffer. Shelters across the country are facing similar issues of high admission numbers and low adoption rates.

Shelter Animals Count, a national database that tracks animal rescue and shelter trends, found in its latest data analysis that animal shelters are “in crisis” nationwide. This year will be the third year in a row that shelters report having too many animals and not enough adoptions — especially among dogs.

how can I help

With a full house, the shelter hopes the upcoming holiday season will bring more adoptions and foster families to the facility.

The group needs more community members to step forward as foster or adoptive parents for the animals. The Loyal Friends Program covers expenses for necessities such as food and medicine for families who choose to foster an animal.

Applications to foster or adopt pets can be found at the links here. The shelter is open Tuesday through Friday from noon to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m

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Faithful Friends is also seeking donations, especially hard toys and training treats. Their wish lists can be found on Amazon and on their website.

Between now and February, the shelter will also match any donations up to $325,000. Donations can be made online; By phone at 302-427-8514 ext. 110; Or by sending a check.

There are other ways to share with loyal friends. They host community home building days, where people can come and build homes for feral cats around the state to use during the cold winter months. The next cat house building day will be November 18 from 1-3 p.m. Register here.

An “Empty the Shelter” event will be held from December 1-8, where there will be discounted prices on all animals. Loyal Friends will also participate in the Brandywine Valley SPCA Adoption Weekend on December 9-10.

Contact Molly McVety at mmcvety@delawareonline.com. Follow her on Twitter @mollymcvety.

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