'A perfect storm': Chattanooga animal shelters are at or near capacity

Staff file photo by Matt Hamilton / In 2020, Chattanooga resident Molly Shirley acquaints her dog Gunner, middle, with Jax, a dog she was fostering from the Humane Educational Society.

The Chattanooga area's two largest animal shelters are at or near maximum capacity as animal intakes rise and adoptions decline.

McKamey Animal Center is at full capacity and accepting only emergency animal intakes.

"We have been nearing our maximum capacity for a while now," Executive Director Inga Fricke said.

She said factors such as kitten season - the period between April and October when cats tend to produce more litters than other times of year - always lead to an uptick in animal intake in the summer.

"But right now, it's definitely gotten to crisis point for us," said Fricke, whose shelter serves Chattanooga, Red Bank and Lakesite.

The Humane Educational Society serves unincorporated areas of Hamilton County as well as Soddy-Daisy, Collegedale, Walden, Ridgeside and Signal Mountain.