EAST HARLEM, New York (WABC) -- An animal care center in New York City is making a desperate plea for people to adopt their dogs with shelters way over capacity.
Animal Care Centers of New York City say there are two dogs in every cage, and if people don't adopt them, more dogs may have to be euthanized.
"In the decade I've been involved in animal welfare, I've never seen it this bad," said Katy Hansen of Animal Care Centers of New York City.
On the second floor at Animal Care Centers of New York City, there are two pups in what is supposed to be a solo kennel.
The staff in East Harlem continues coming up with creative ways to handle a situation which reached a crisis level in October. That's when the shelter announced it was closed to dog surrenders.
This facility only has room for 75 dogs. At their Brooklyn site, there's only room for 95. Now each has 150 dogs.
"People are surrendering because their finances are not good, and I think people are afraid to make that commitment to adopt an animal because they are worried about their finances," Hansen said.
Pre-pandemic animals were here for about five to seven days, now that number has jumped to between 17 and 20.
It's a delicate balancing act, complicated by an uptick in strays being dropped off that are about 3 years old.
"Which means that they were puppies at the beginning of the pandemic, and they were just abandoned," Hansen said.
Teams at the facility are looking for people to foster the dogs as a way to balance the numbers.
"We have rescue groups and the ASPCA up the street has taken in a lot of dogs," Hansen said.
But there is some movement.
"We are here to get a Siberian Husky," said Angel, who is looking to adopt a dog.
Meaning, that could be one dog up for adoption that may have just found a home.
"They need friends and families just like us," Nicole said. "It's the holidays, a good thing to do."