Staff at the Second Chance Pet Rescue, the local no kill shelter in Grove, Oklahoma, have been struggling to keep up the pace as the number of animals needing help and entering the facility has sharply increased over the last two years while the facilities budget has remained the same.

Shelter manager Lysa Boston said that the shelter has seen an 87% increase in the number of animals entering the shelter over 2019 and a staggering 127% over 2017.

“It’s been quite challenging to handle such a drastic increase in mouths to feed and medical needs to meet; our shelter runs solely on donations and sadly those have not trended upward the way the intakes have," Boston said.

According to Boston, the shelter has provided care for 1,153 homeless animals so far this year.

“In our little corner of the world, we are the only shelter around to help when someone can’t keep their pet, or when someone has found a pet and held onto the pet for a short time but was unable to locate the owner,” Boston said. “When we are full and cannot help, it’s heartbreaking to have to tell someone that not only can we not immediately help, we don’t know of anyone who can."

Boston added that the shelter will offer food so that the pet doesn’t go hungry and promise to take in the homeless pet as soon as a spot opens, but said that she personally finds the lack of resources unacceptable.

“Turning away an animal in need is just not okay in my book,” Boston said.

Boston also said that financial support from the community is critical to the continued operation of the shelter.

“We’ve started a sponsorship program which allows people to choose a pet to help on a monthly basis,” she explained. “People are often are overwhelmed when the know see one hundred dogs in the shelter at any one time, but one dog, they can help with just one dog.”

She said she thinks people feel a connection and feel good about being able to support “their dog” for a month.”

Boston said it costs an average of $800 every day just to keep the doors open at the shelter.

“Aside from the animal care and veterinary costs, we have to pay our electric, water and mortgage bills just like everyone else, and that’s often something people don’t think about,” said Boston. “It all adds up, and it usually adds up to more than we had hoped.”

Boston said there is also the added costs of repairs and maintenance at their aging shelter to factor in.

Those interested in making a donation to help the shelter provide care for the more than 120 dogs and puppies and 70 cats in its care, or to learn more about the sponsorship program, please visit www.doitfothedogs.com.