Animal shelters in Toronto and Peel Region are currently experiencing high capacity numbers and are calling on anyone looking for a pet to adopt a new furry friend.

Below is a rundown of the situation by city:

Brampton

Brampton Animal Services (BAS) is currently over capacity, especially for dogs. That means that BAS is keeping dogs in kennels that are not meant for long-term housing.

BAS is currently home to 40 dogs, with 16 of them available for adoption right now. The remaining 24 may have just recently come into the shelter and are waiting to get spayed or neutered before they can be adopted, have medical issues that need to be addressed before adoption, or are being cared for on behalf of residents who are experiencing a temporary emergency.

BAS is also caring for 57 cats and 19 smaller animals, including birds, rabbits and guinea pigs.

“The rising cost of dog care combined with the increased cost of living has resulted in an increased number of surrendered or abandoned dogs while also decreasing the number of adopters looking to take on a new responsibility,” BAS said in a statement.

“BAS asks anyone interested in adding a pet to their family to consider adopting an animal before purchasing one and to do their homework to ensure that their prospective pets’ behaviour and energy level match that of their family so that there are no surprises once their puppy gets older.”

The longest resident at BAS is Houston, a three-year-old neutered male American Bulldog who has been at the shelter for 513 days (as of Dec. 6). Houston has a lot of energy and needs a home with no young children and someone who is willing to exercise him regularly and train him.

He responds positively to food and toy-based training and has twice participated in York Regional Police K9 candidate testing, where K9 officer candidates demonstrate their ability to work with shelter dogs for a week before being assigned a police dog.

Mississauga

Mississauga’s Animal Services shelter is also currently at capacity, with some capacity reserved for pets that are found as strays or come into the shelter for a number of other reasons. Animal Services usually sees an uptick in surrenders this time of year and leading into January.

The shelter is currently housing 25 cats and 25 dogs with additional dogs and cats currently being fostered. There are also 11 pocket pets, such as rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, etc. that are currently available for adoption.

Mopsey, a giant lop-eared rabbit, has been at the shelter since May 2. Bella, an American bulldog, has been at the shelter since May 18 and several other dogs who deserve a home have been at the shelter since late in the spring.

“Animal Services works with fosters and rescues to help move animals out of the shelter where possible. Longer stays of animals in the shelter pose additional strain on staff, resources and the animals. The requirement for veterinary services has also been increasing due the nature/state of the animals being received and requiring behavioural and veterinary care, which we treat in advance of efforts to adopt the animals,” said Mississauga Animal Services.

“Mississauga Animal Services has worked with the pet rehoming service Home-to-Home since June 2022, and this partnership has helped significantly in mitigating the number of animals being surrendered to the shelter since that time.”

Home-to-Home is a free online platform that lets residents proactively rehome their pets when they can no longer keep them. It is a direct-to-adopter program for rehoming animals without surrendering them to a shelter.

Caledon

The Caledon Animal Services shelter is currently at capacity for dogs, but not for cats.

They are always at cat capacity from spring through the fall when they have kittens, with winter being a “slower” time of year for cats. Currently, there are 12 dogs, 14 cats/kittens, and one livestock animal. There are also dogs, cats and a chicken in their care at a local farm.

Bessie, a dog, is the shelter’s longest resident at 10 months, Waffles at 4 months, and Goldie at 3 months. The Town of Caledon does have a pet adoption program.

“Adopting a pet has many advantages,” Caledon Animal Services said. “You’re helping an abandoned animal find a forever home, we offer low adoption fees, you can get a pet that is already spayed or neutered, (and) our pets will already have a microchip identification.”

Toronto

Toronto Animal Services is currently operating close to capacity for dogs and small mammals. Capacity for care is monitored closely in our animal shelters. Toronto Animal Services also works closely with volunteer fosters and various rescue organizations to help animals in the city.

Staff focuses on prepping shelter animals for adoption or transfer to rescue organizations or for a quick return to owners, to minimize the length of stay for all of their animals.

“Currently, we have dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs available for adoption from our shelters. The longest tenured animal is Zeke, a two-year-old male, neutered Collie mix who has been at our shelter since June and is ready to find his forever home.” You can view Zeke’s profile at https://24petconnect.com/TorontoAdoptablePets/Details/TRNT2/A945195.

View other animals available for adoption at https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/animals-pets/adopt-a-pet/.

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