Capacity crisis forces HSHPE to restrict surrenders

Capacity crisis forces HSHPE to restrict surrenders

BELLEVILLE – Faced with an overwhelming number of animals being brought to the shelter in need of care, Humane Society Hastings Prince Edward (HSHPE) has moved to temporarily restrict the surrender of animals by owners and is asking for the public’s help to deal with the crisis.

“It’s all hands on deck at HSHPE. The crisis we’ve seen across the country is now here. Surrenders are up and adoptions are down and that is causing an urgent capacity issue,” says Marilyn Lawrie, HSHPE executive director.

HSHPE has taken in over 260 animals in the last six weeks, from June 1 to July 14, 2023 – a dramatic increase from its average intake rates.

Lawrie says inflation, lack of affordable housing and rising vet costs are creating a “perfect storm” and adds that many of the other shelters and rescues that would normally take our overflow are at capacity themselves.

The shelter will continue to accept strays that have been picked up by animal control officers in Belleville, Quinte West and other smaller centers in keeping with its contracts with those municipalities. People finding strays outside those areas are urged to contact their municipalities. Emergency intakes will be assessed on individual basis.

HSHPE is also asking for people to consider adopting an animal from the shelter and is lowering its rate for adult (over six months) dog adoptions to $200 until the end of August.

There is also an urgent need for animal care volunteers in the shelter and families able to foster animals in their homes, usually for two to eight weeks, with training, food, medications and supplies provided. Those interested in learning more are asked to email

The suspension of owner surrenders will continue to the end of August, when the situation will be reassessed.

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