The Humane Society of Young County is again filled with animals in search of a home.

The shelter is now at full capacity due to the lack of spaying and neutering of indoor and outdoor pets, according to HSYC Director Kim Baxter. 

In an effort to stop the mass influx of animals, an anonymous group is working with the shelter to conduct low cost/no cost spay and neuter clinics on the second Mondays of July and August. The clinics are targeted at pet owners who otherwise can't afford to get their animals fixed in order to decrease rising stray numbers and will help decrease the growing number of strays in Graham. 

But Baxter said the stray problem extends beyond owners' inabilities to fix their pets. Some pet owners simply do not wish to care for their animals anymore and choose to surrender them to the shelter. 

“I had a person call and say ‘I want to surrender my animal,'” Baxter said. “I always ask what is going on because I could help. She said, ‘I can't take care of him.' So I offered her some food if that would help and she said, ‘Then I would have to clean up after him.'”

HSYC currently provides food, water and shelter to more than 300 animals.

“Each year the amount of incoming animals has gone up,” Baxter said. “This time of the year is a strain on our budget. (Last week we had) 22 animals come in, and three quarters of them were owner surrenders.”

Just last week HSYC took in four neglected owner-surrendered horses off of Highway 380. 

“They are in very bad condition, and they all have parasites,” she said. “The ground around them was bare, and there were beer bottles on the ground. I thought their water was oil (because it was so dirty).”

Read more in Wednesday's Graham Leader.