You've likely seen it in the news: animal shelters need help. Across the nation, many rescues and shelters are crowded, understaffed, and underfunded. More and more animals enter rescues every day, and there's just no way existing systems can keep up.
TikTok user and shelter worker @shortypanda1113 is going viral for their behind-the-scenes look at Austin Animal Center in Austin, Texas. They hope that taking to social media helps raise awareness of the desperate situation--and we hope so too. These animals and the people who are doing their best to care for them cannot do this alone.
As you can see, the shelter isn't just crowded. Animals have no room to move or stretch out in their tiny crates, and they're being cooled by small fans. Of course, this is by no means the fault of the shelter staff. Like @shortypanda1113 explained, municipal shelters like theirs are required to intake any animals they're given. "Humans caused this," they wrote, "now we humans need to help."
So, what can people do? Commenters like @pegahzadeh and @sarahenouri offered their time and money in the form of volunteering or donations, which Austin Animal Center will gladly accept. "We use a specific gastrointestinal sensitive food," @Shortypanda1113 replied to @pegahzadeh, "but toys, bowls, begging etc. is greatly appreciated!!!"
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They also added, "On the Austin Animal Center home page, there are links for volunteering, donating, and fostering!" And these are just a few ways people can help! Advocating for the adoption of pets is always important, and this just goes to show why.