The opening of a new county animal shelter, originally scheduled for July and then August, is delayed once again.

There is no projected date for the new shelter at the public safety complex to open other than “closer to the end of the year,” according to the Glynn County government website.

The new $3.5 million shelter will replace the one on U.S. 17, which has put a temporary hold on accepting owner surrender of pets and healthy stray animals because there is no room.

The surge in COVID-19 cases also has forced the shelter to reduce face-to-face contact with people for the safety of the community and staff.

“The number of animals needing care at our shelter is increasing steadily, but our adoption and foster numbers are not keeping pace,” said Tiffani Hill, shelter manager. “We’re also competing for transport opportunities with thousands of other shelters across the South. Everyone is overwhelmed right now.”

Hill said as soon as a kennel or cage opens up, another animal immediately takes its place.

“Our shelter fills up faster than we can rehome pets, creating an unsustainable gap in life-saving,” she said. “If we do not get help from our community now, we will be forced to make difficult space decisions in the coming days.

“If you’ve been on the fence about saving a life, now is the time to act.”

People can foster a pet until the shelter makes it through the current crisis by sponsoring an animal and helping pay adoption fees for other families to make room for one more or by helping friendly lost pets find their way home instead of taking them to shelters.

For information about the fostering program, call 912-554-7505.

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