(WSYR-TV) — All the dog kennels at the Finger Lakes SPCA are full.

“Back when COVID hit, a lot of people came in, wanted to adopt animals because they were in their home they wanted some company,” said Thomas Adessa who works as Humane Law Enforcement Officer for the Finger Lakes SPCA of CNY. “So now that we’re getting back to our normal lives, some people brought the animals back in, they surrender them.”

Another reason is an increase in animal cruelty cases.

“We have to take the animals in, process them, feed them, house them. The cases, and the courts are sometimes backlogged and sometimes these cases are seven, eight, nine months before their adjudicated,” Adessa explained.

The overcrowding isn’t just an issue at Finger Lakes SPCA of CNY. It’s widespread. Many other shelters across Central New York are also experiencing the same thing.

“We are pretty much capped out,” said Stefanie Heath a board member with advocacy group Cuse Pit Crew. “When that starts to happen, as much as people don’t want to have to think that way, what are the options? What are shelters to do at that point? And euthanasia is always going to be a last resort.”

If adoption isn’t a good fit, you can also foster. Shelters also need volunteers to help with walking and interacting with the dogs. If you need help with food there are pet food pantries. You’re also encouraged to spay and neuter your pets and there are resources available to help offset the costs of that.

Spay/Neuter assistance:

Friends of Animals certificate program: https://friendsofanimals.org/get-a-certificate/

Fixing to Help CNY: https://fixingtohelpcny.com/

Spay and Neuter Syracuse: https://www.spayandneutersyracuse.com/

CNY Spay and Neuter Assistance Program: (607) 756-2561

CNY Cat Coalition: http://www.cnycatcoalition.org/

Pet food pantries:

Hardeko Helping Paws: (315) 410-1278

The Kia Foundation, Inc. Pet Thrift Store & Pet Food Pantry: https://www.thekiafoundation.org