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      Help keep a shelter animal alive another day

      In Monday TMs Facebook story of the day, you wanted to know how many animals our local shelters take in every month. Fox 31 visited some shelters to find out.

      Barks and cries fill the air the moment you step into an animal shelter, where dogs and cats beg for your attention.

      "They're starving for that love. They take it in, they really make great pet, said Jackie Grigg, an animal control officer for Lee County Animal Shelter.

      While these pets just want to find a home, more often they're finding themselves behind the fences of local shelters. This month alone the Lee County Animal Shelter has taken in 198 animals, and the Best Friends Humane Society in Sylvester has taken in around 65.

      With numbers like this both shelters claim the animals realize just how lucky they are when they find a home.

      A lot of times they're grateful, said Shelly McPhaul, director of the Best Friends Humane Society.

      Grigg agreed that the animals have a certain level of understanding.

      "You're saving an animal's life. Most of these animals are really grateful that somebody's going to take them in."

      The shelters also agree on why there's such a high number of animals in shelters: the lack of spaying and neutering.

      "It's better to have them spayed or neutered. The population's out of hand. It really is, said Grigg.

      "It should be mandatory. Obviously that's not going to happen but there's no reason to breed animals, said McPhaul.

      They say there's no reason to breed when there are dozens of available dogs and cats ranging in breed and age at a local shelter, yet only a small number ever make it out alive.

      Hundreds of animals are transported to local animal shelters in trucks every month but that number simply can't compete with the small amount that ever get to leave. Best Friends has a 50% adoption rate while Lee County only found homes for around 20 of their animals this month.

      Both shelters have plenty of available dogs and cats for adoption available. To see a complete list, check out their websites at and

      If you can TMt adopt, help support the animals with the necessary items to live by donating them to either site.