Hoarded Cats Strain Struggling Animal Shelter
The 29 cats recently seized from a Citrus Heights home have only added to the woes of the Sacramento County Animal Shelter.

All those cats are being treated at the shelter where they've just gone through a 44 percent reduction in staffing.

But there is something even greater that is working against them this week. "The week of 4th of July is the busiest week we face," commented the shelter's division manager Tara Diller.

The shelter's primary population this week are loose dogs-almost 450 of them, scared off by the fireworks celebration.

"Then you bring in another 29 cats in addition to our daily intake, so these numbers are compounding very quickly," added Diller. It's the same out on the field. Wednesday's situation in Citrus Heights forced the shelter to send several of their people to the scene. Only four were actual employees.

"The rest are volunteers on scene with us. If it wasn't for the volunteers I don't know what we would have done," said Diller. Volunteers until recently walked the animals, or taught them simple commands, but now "Volunteers are being asked to do things we've really never been involved with before...things experienced and trained staff should be doing.," said Jennifer O'Connor, one of many volunteers at the shelter.

Animal Control Officer, Roy Marcum added, "It's like we do more with less. Each animal takes a certain amount of time and care.

"I think it's all still happening, things are still getting done," commented O'Connor. "It's the extra stuff that we used to have time for. Today was hard though. I've never seen a situation like we did today."