Berkeley County animal shelter (copy)

An employee at the former Doc Williams SPCA checks on dogs that are waiting to be spayed or neutered. Berkeley County later assumed operation of the Moncks Corner facility. File/Brad Nettles/Staff

Berkeley County Animal Shelter is putting a pause on accepting new pets because they are inundated with stray dogs and cats. 

"Due to the overwhelming intake number of owner surrenders and strays, we are currently not accepting any owner surrenders until further notice," the shelter said on its Facebook page. 

Summer is a brutal for Charleston-area shelters, as more and more families find themselves surrendering dogs and cats during warmer months, Berkeley County sheriff's spokeswoman Carli Drayton said. 

"It's peak puppy and kitten season," Drayton said. "We always see the influx right around this time."

The shelter has the maximum capacity for 56 cages and spaces for dogs and 68 spots for cats. Currently, there are 71 dogs and 75 cats in total, according to county spokeswoman Hannah Moldenhauer. 

It has been more than a month since the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office has taken over animal control duties. At the very start, Sheriff Duane Lewis said the agencies was "extremely busy" with calls. A little more than $267,000 was approved by County Council to finance four animal control officers that each work 12-hour shifts.

Recently, the Berkeley County Animal Shelter was inundated with strays. In June, the shelter asked the public to step up and adopt animals after the shelter had more than 600 cats, dogs, puppies, kittens and rabbits on hand.

The large adoption population is attributed, in part, to the Doc Williams SPCA closing at the end of 2018 because of financial woes. 

There are more than 200 million stray dogs worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals states that about 3.3 million dogs enter U.S. animal shelters every year.

In an effort to clear the shelter, the animal center is hosting an event Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. where volunteers will offer discounted rates on adoptions. The shelter is located at 502 Cypress Gardens Road in Moncks Corner. 

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Reach Thomas Novelly at 843-937-5715. Follow him @TomNovelly on Twitter. 

Thomas Novelly reports on crime, growth and development as well as military issues in Berkeley and Dorchester counties. Previously, he was a reporter at the Courier Journal in Louisville, Kentucky. He is a fan of Southern rock, bourbon and horse racing.

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