Furry friends in need of homes as Lodi shelter nears full capacity

Mar. 11—The Lodi Animal Shelter is full again, and the department is inviting the public to a free adoption event to help make room for stray dogs and cats.

Lodi Animal Services Foundation and Lodi Animal Services will host their annual Open House on March 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1145 S. Ham Lane.

Animal Services officer Jordan Kranich said there will be 25 dogs and 10 cats available for adoption next weekend.

"With the 10 cats we have, that means we only have five cat cages open," Kranich said. "We'd really like to get the cats adopted because cat season is right around the corner."

The open house will feature a doggie boutique with vendors offering a variety of supplies for residents' new and existing pets, and the foundation will cover the cost of dog adoptions.

In addition, the San Francisco 49ers Gold Rush cheerleading team will be available for a meet-and-greet, photos and autographs.

Animal Services and its foundation first hosted the open house in 2019. Last year's event was the first since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kranich said a combination of the pandemic's end and the recent winter storms has played a large role in the shelter reaching capacity.

"During the pandemic, we had maybe five animals," he said. "Then after that, everyone went back to work and a lot of people said they didn't have time to care for some of these animals. Now with the storms, we have fences blowing over, and some animals get out."

Many of the dogs currently being housed at the shelter are huskies and German shepherds, which typically escape from yards and homes at this time of year.

"We don't see a lot of dogs running around in the summer months because of the heat, and the hot pavement might hurt their paws. In the winter months, it's cooler, so if a fence blows over and they see an opportunity to get out, they'll run because it's cooler."

This is also the time of year when many adult felines will become pregnant, and the shelter will see an influx of newborn kittens.

So, Kranich said, the open house is Animal Services' opportunity to find foster homes for the cats currently housed at the shelter.

"We've got to make room for those that are coming in somehow," he said.

For more information about the open house, visit thelasf.org. To view animals currently available for adoption at the shelter, visit www.lodi.gov/980/View-Adoptable-Animals.