SCITUATE — The Scituate Animal Shelter is a revolving door of furry creatures of all kinds — cats, dogs, rabbits and other pets are constantly brought in from other shelters, found abandoned, surrendered by their owners — but the last month has been a bit strange.
Over the last few weeks, the shelter has had an influx of bunnies and beagles, both of which aren't uncommon to see on their own, but their sheer numbers have made this a wild time. In the last month, the shelter has taken in 40 rabbits and nine beagles, which are huge numbers for a modest nonprofit.
"This is not routine by any means," Maryann Regan, the shelter's executive director, said Thursday.
Regan said the shelter was approached about a month ago by a South Shore woman who was in over her head with bunnies. She had well-meaningly adopted two, Regan said, but didn't properly separate them before they could be spayed and neutered. From there, things spiraled out of control.
"You know the expression, and multiply they did," Regan said.
Eventually, the woman called the shelter, which has been trying to find new homes for as many rabbits as it can.
"She did the right thing," Amanda Baker, the shelter's intake and adoption manager, said. "She knew she was overwhelmed."
The mothers and babies were all taken to other shelters, and 14 males have been adopted. The shelter is still looking for homes for seven bunnies.
"Those who did get adopted are doing great," Regan said. "They warmed up great, and with the time and attention they've become great pets."
In addition to the rabbits, the shelter has been dealing with an unusual influx of beagles – nine in the last three weeks, all from different places.
Of the nine, one was transferred to a different shelter, one was adopted and two are living with local families in trial or foster-to-adopt situations, leaving the shelter with five that need homes.
"They're super sweet and they just want to be loved," Regan said.
About half of the beagles that came in were heartworm positive, and most had lived outside their entire lives. The dogs are all in heartworm treatment and are scheduled to receive dental care in the next few weeks.
The shelter is hoping two of the beagles, a pair of 12-year-olds named Anna and Amber, can be adopted together. The shelter is looking for a hospice home for Anna, who has cancer. Amber, despite her age, is healthy, Baker said.
"We know that's a big ask because they're two senior beagles, but they're sweet and really love each other," she said.
The Situate Animal Shelter can be reached at 781-544-4533.
Reach Mary Whitfill at firstname.lastname@example.org.