The animal population at the Johnson County Animal Shelter has changed. No longer do stray dogs and cats make up most of the animals housed at the county shelter. Instead, it’s filled with pets that have been left there intentionally by their owners.
The number of animals that are found in neighborhoods and brought to the shelter to be claimed by their owners has decreased the past five years because more owners are having their pets microchipped, meaning animal shelter workers can return the animals to their homes without ever bringing them to the shelter in Franklin.
But during a similar time period, more residents are giving up on pet ownership. In 2010, owners brought 118 animals to the shelter to give them away. So far this year, more than 200 animals have been given up at the shelter, animal shelter director Michael Delp said.
Delp and kennel manager Bethany Fults said more residents have been leaving their animals at the shelter because they have lost their jobs and can’t afford to take care of their pets, or they are moving somewhere they can’t have pets, such as an apartment complex or a family member’s house.