LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Animal shelters all across the state are bursting at the seams, using any means possible to help clear space before the holidays.

“It is a really difficult time for animal shelters here and there is a lot of great pets,” Executive Director for Best Friends Animal Society NWA, Jackie Roach said.  

Betsy Robb with the Little Rock Animal Village said they have taken in a lot more dogs this time of year, than in years past.

“There is not a day that goes by that at the end of the day our kennels aren’t full, that’s no different this time of year, although usually, intake is a little bit lower,” Robb said.

One reason for this, she said, is the veterinary shortage.

“Little Rock Animal Village does not currently have an open position for a veterinarian that they have been trying to fill for quite some time, so they have part-time vets that come in and to do sterilization and vaccinations,” Robb stated.

This all means a slower turn-around for other animals, up to a week at least, Robb said.

In Northwest Arkansas, it can be even more time.

“In some cases, if the shelter doesn’t have a veterinary on staff, they have to rely on relying on private practices to work in their animals to get them spayed and neutered and in some cases, I’m hearing 3-4 weeks,” Roach continued.

Places like the Sherwood Animal Shelter are offering to waive adoption fees and other free services to try to clear space, and like the Little Rock Animal Village, provide as many resources as possible to help support owners.

“As for help and see if there is any way to avoid that, we have a lot of resources at our disposal,” Robb said.

If you are looking to adopt a pet, maybe for a Christmas gift, or just to have, shelters all across Central Arkansas are open and more than willing to help you and your family find the perfect companion.