Since September 1, or shall we say, in just 62 days, Dorchester Paws has taken in 748 dogs & cats! That’s an average of 15 animals a day that have come into our care either as a stray or as a lost pet since our admissions department is only open 6 days a week. The even tougher reality is that there are many days where intakes surpass 20+ animals, a day.

With these kind of intake numbers our processing/intake kennels as well as our adoption floor have been both operating at max capacity for an excessive amount of time (and much longer than typical for this time of year). Here at Dorchester Paws, we do not euthanize for kennel space, rather our staff works daily, at the challenging jigsaw puzzle to move dogs and cats around to get them scheduled for surgery, tagged for rescue, reclaimed, and/or set up to be reserved; all with the same goal, to get them into a home as fast as possible.

Dorchester Paws issued a temporary moratorium yesterday, temporarily closing our admissions department until Monday, November 8th at 12pm, since the shelter is at max capacity. Non emergent intakes will need to be postponed until out shelter frees up space. We are offering supplies and resources until intake is re-opened.

Dorchester Paws relies heavily on fosters, adopters, and the community to spread the message so we can clear our shelter. We reduce adoption fees to $25 or sometimes less, to help. We attend events on weekends to bring exposure to animals to get them adopted. Yet sadly, these efforts haven’t been enough to clear our shelter in the last 62 days against the daily intake numbers we are seeing. Our daily reality is that our kennel space is full and that our adoption fee promotions don’t allow Dorchester Paws to recoup the expenses we incur, per day, to provide the animals with the proper care they need. On average, it takes $35, per day, to care for an animal. That $35 does not cover the additional medical expenses we incur for those that require life-saving treatment and/or surgery, or those who are too young that need more care than upon intake.

Of the 748 animals that we took in, 2% got reclaimed by their owner, yet Dorchester Paws still covers the costs of their daily care and medical expenses while they are in our care.

Using simple math, 748 animals x $35 = $26,180, that it cost Dorchester Paws for their first day of care! 

Dorchester Paws is operating at a deficit as a result.

Right now, on our adoption floor alone:

  • 40% of the dogs are above the age of 7+. That’s almost half of our adoption floor, where space is dedicated to senior dogs who have a slower rate of being adopted. This is where fosters could really help as it opens up space and allows our seniors to be given the proper environment to thrive while they wait for their forever home. Our seniors are so loving, we just need help spreading the word to find those adopters who want a mature, ready to go dog vs. a puppy.
    • According to The Grey Muzzle Organization, the adoption rate for senior dogs is lower than that of all other ages combined. Just over 50% find new homes.
  • 75% of our dogs & cats primary color is black, which plays into the Black Dog Syndrome phenomenon in the sheltering world, in pet adoption, where black dogs or cats have a tendency of being ignored.
  • More than 10 of our dogs are hounds.
  • 35 dogs and cats have been with us for more than 30 days!

We need help being the voice for the voiceless. Will you stand and shout loudly with us?

Dorchester Paws is open daily, from 12-5pm for adoptions. To foster, email foster@dorchesterpaws.org. To donate, to the animal’s daily care and help in our deficit, see below.