GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) --- Overcrowding in animal shelters across North Carolina have many rescues and fosters hard at work helping the homeless animals whose lives are on the line.
Shelters across eastern North Carolina are packed, and most are unable to accept new animals.
"Rescues and local county shelters are doing absolutely everything they possibly can," said Shelby Jolly, with the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina.
Summer often translates to an influx of puppies and kittens on top of an increase in animal surrenders.
Some rescue shelters, like the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina, have time to spare, but other facilities aren't so lucky.
"Normally, your local county shelters aren't that lucky and, unfortunately, they have to euthanize after a certain period of time just because there is not enough homes for all the animals," said Jolly.
Humane Society staff say shelter employees who are forced to put the animals to sleep struggle with the situation.
"They don't love it," said Jolly. "It's not something they enjoy doing whatsoever. It's very heartbreaking, and they have to deal with it."
Cheri Bowles encourages people to foster and help alleviate the issue.
"I see online a plea: "Please somebody help! Please somebody help!" said Bowles. "Well guess what, you are somebody."
Bowles hopes others will step up to provide space for homeless dogs and cats, even if it's temporary.
"You never know," said Bowles. "You might fall in love, and you're saving a life all at the same time."
Pet owners are also asked to spay and neuter their animals and to think twice before they surrender.
The state of North Carolina says your animal can be put to sleep immediately if surrendered.
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