Tis the season for many to sadly abandon their cats and dogs.
As the holidays come to a close, local shelters are feeling the burden of families not ready for their four legged present. Many of those unwanted pets are dumped outside.
But one animal shelter in Monroe County has a program to help make room for those cats and dogs.
Cats are everywhere you look inside Naomi Gauntlett’s home in East Stroudsburg. We’re told there’s around 80 being cared for at this time. She’s made it her mission to help the unwanted felines and find them good homes with her rescue Animals Can’t Talk. But she’s full to capacity.
Gauntlett says, "It’s hard saying no because I just can’t take in anymore. I just turned 81, who is going to run this when I depart?"
That doesn’t stop people from calling, especially right now. Pets are known to be abandoned after Christmas.
Gauntlett says, "People have to understand, when they adopt, it is for life. And if they can’t keep it, call the person that they adopted it from to see if they can take it back. Don’t just throw it out because that’s so cruel."
This one she couldn’t refuse.
Gauntlett says, "With the weather coming and leaving it in a park, I just couldn’t. I put her in a cage because she’s not tested and the way she went after the food, she was starving."
What volunteers have now named Goldie was discovered in a Pike County park.
Gauntlett says, "Some people there found it and called all over and no one could take it. They called this area and no one could take it. And from what I understand, there was a rescue here that gave them my name."
But there are plenty of cages open at AWSOM Animal Shelter. As it turns out, the nonprofit never received a call about the cat and actually took in six felines yesterday.
AWSOM Covering General Manager Jackie Fritz says, "We do have several cats that are still home for the holidays that we do have to account for in case they come back but we do have space."
Their foster program “Home for the Holidays” makes room to help other pets in need of shelter this time of year.
Fritz says, "It gives the animals an opportunity to go to a home, cats and dogs, temporarily, in hopes that the people fall in love with them and they find their forever homes."
We’re told the shelter in Stroud Township has 11 dogs and 12 cats currently participating.