Coastal Pet Rescue at capacity, losing volunteers due to outbreak

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SAVANNAH, GA. (WSAV)- Social distancing and widespread job insecurity are causing a ripple effect in our local animal shelters.

Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah said they’re losing volunteers and running out of space. Lisa Scarbrough runs the shelter and she said they’re housing 50 animals right now and another 40 are in foster homes.

“Our concern is trying to get as many adoptions as we can right now for the animals at the shelter,” said Scarbrough. “We’ve already lost a high volume of our volunteers due the shutdowns of Georgia Southern and SCAD students being out of town.”

Animals are coming in faster than they’re being adopted and monetary donations have nearly stopped altogether. These donations help the shelter fund critical services.

“We still have electric bills to pay, we still have utilities, we still will have medical bills for these animals,” said Scarbrough. “We are going to have to find ways to take care of those things and there’s a lot of taxes on everybody right now.”

On Wednesday Scarbrough took in her last batch of animals from Effighham County Animal Services. She said until volunteer numbers are back to normal and adoptions pick up they can’t take anymore.

“I’ve had multiple people over the last few days that have requested intakes and we don’t have a place to take them,” said Scarbrough. “If we get to a point that are county shelters have to also close to intakes we are going to have some serious issues.”

A spokesperson tells News 3 Chatham County Animal Services are still open for adoptions at this time.

Scarbrough said it’s a wait and see kind of situation, but volunteers want to remind people that pets are great company.

“I mean I’m sure people are scared about the what ifs and they’re afraid of buying dog food,” said Colleen Scheffield-Greene, a volunteer and owner of Colleen Takes on the Sitting World.“They may not necessarily want to adopt a dog or a cat but, you know, to have a quarantine buddy would be awesome.”

Scarbrough said the uncertainty of the outbreak may leave pet owners feeling overwhelmed or unable to provide food. She said instead giving the animal up she can provide them with what they may need to keep taking care of the pet.

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