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Winter weather has impact on region's animal shelters

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 12 2014 04:34:40 PM CDT

The wicked winter weather we've experienced hasn't only been tough on roads, roofs and cars, it's also been rough on local animal shelters.

QUAKERTOWN, Pa. -

The wicked winter weather we've experienced hasn't only been tough on roads, roofs and cars, it's also been rough on local animal shelters.

Adoptions at the Last Chance Ranch in Quakertown, Bucks Co., this winter have averaged five per week, compared to 25 a week during the rest of the year, said the shelter's director, Lori McCutcheon.

"We've turned a lot away. I fear they will be euthanized because mostly are in high-kill shelters that we pull from," she said.

McCutcheon said the harsh winter hasn't only been brutal on adoptions, but with clearing snow, and heating her facilities, the snow threatened to freeze her already tight budget.

"We've been going through more propane than I've ever seen doing this," McCutcheon said.

Last Chance isn't alone in battling the cold. Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue in Berks County has experienced similar problems.

Sanctuary at Haafsville, a shelter in Fogelsville, Lehigh Co., however, pressed on its network of foster families to help it continue to care for and adopt out needy animals.

"Storms helped us increase the pool of foster homes and helped us find homes," Liz Jones said.

The Lehigh County Humane Society reports winter storms didn't bury adoptions at its Allentown location, but Last Chance isn't in a city and fights perceptions that come with being in a rural area.

"Don't want to come to back roads when don't know how covered the roads are with ice and snow. It's wearing on people to be safe to come out this far," McCutcheon said.

The good news is the weather is warming and there's always another chance for those in need.

Last Chance is having a major fundraiser on Sat., March 22, at the Sands Casino.