Animal shelters approach full capacity

Photo of Hoss, a resident at the Tallahassee Animal Service center. Photo courtesy Chanté Coleman

Local animal shelters are looking for foster and forever homes for their residents as they quickly approach capacity.

Erika Leckington, director of the Tallahassee Animal Services [TAS], said the center has had thousands of animals come through its doors.

“We have already received about 3,000 animals this year,” Leckington said.

The center currently has about 140 cats and dogs in house and about 34 in foster homes. Of the 34 animals in foster homes, most are cats and kittens, while most of the animals at the shelter are dogs.

The Florida A&M University farm in Gadsden County is a foster home to six dogs from the TAS. The farm receives animals from the shelter and aids in nursing them back to health.

Zhané Ferrell, a veterinary medicine student at FAMU, said they are good dogs but the farm also needs more help.

“Unfortunately, we are not getting the dogs back next semester because it’s only me and a few others who come on the regular to help,” Ferrell said. “They are going back to the shelter on Thursday, but they are all good dogs.”

Animals end up in shelters for many different reasons. According to Leckington, how animals are received is one of the biggest misnomers.

“We get them from all sorts of situations,” Leckington said. “If there’s a house fire and people are rushed to the hospital or if someone is arrested or in a car accident with their dog in the car, we’re often there to pick up those animals. We also do a lot of animal cruelty and neglect investigations.”

Another Tallahassee organization helping place animals in their forever homes is the Leon County Humane Society [LCHS]. According to its website, LCHS is dedicated to matching families with homeless pets, advocating for animals in need, and educating the community about responsible pet ownership. LCHS is a no-kill organization, so animal intake is limited to provide the best care for the animals.

If you are interested in helping the TAS center but cannot adopt or foster, they are accepting monetary donations as well as old blankets and towels. While those donations are greatly appreciated, Leckington said volunteering is the best way to help.

“If they can volunteer their time, it’s far more beneficial to us than the donations,” Leckington said. “We need help with everything from cleaning and feeding animals, to caring for them and walking and socializing them every day. Getting them out and about and away from the kennel definitely helps.”

If you would like to sign up to volunteer or would like more information on how you can adopt or foster an animal, you can visit their websites at and