At any given time, the Animal Ark Rescue Center has 50-70 dogs and cats at the shelter.
So imagine what happens when the no-kill shelter received 48 small dogs and 8-week-old puppies in two weeks.
Social media comes into play. Volunteers heeded the call and started coming in to help.
Executive Director Sabine Stull said the volunteers performed initial checks on the dogs, bathed them and got them treated for fleas. Later, the staff vaccinated the ones who needed shots. The staff can give all shots except rabies, which must be administered by a licensed veterinarian. Stull has several vets on call who could come to give those shots and do medical procedures such as spaying and neutering.
Two weeks ago, Stull and her staff welcomed 13 Yorkshire terriers and poodles that a local hoarder surrendered. Those dogs posed a problem, Stull said. They were neglected and it took the groomers on staff eight hours to shave the matted poodles.
Tuesday's group was surrendered by an elderly couple whose house became overrun with the dogs they had, but they weren't spayed or neutered.
"Their intentions were good, but they found themselves overwhelmed," Stull said. "They are big-hearted people. They needed help and they asked us for help.
"We left them three dogs and they are fixed. Now, they can clean their house."
The dogs were very well cared for and healthy, she said. Only one puppy is currently in quarantine when she developed bordatella, or "kennel cough."
Thanks to social media, all but two of the poodles, seven puppies and eight adult dogs have been adopted or placed in foster care. Stull hopes she will have placed all of the dogs either in their "forever" home or in foster care by the end of the weekend.
Because of the volume of dogs and puppies now, donations of food (dry and canned, especially for puppies and kittens), blankets, cat and dog treats, puppy "pee pads" and money are needed. Stull said.
"It takes a lot of money to run this place," Stull said.
Animal Ark is in the old PAWS Humane building on Sacerdote Lane off Schatulga Road. The veterinary bills alone run between $8,000-$10,000 a month, she said.
The shelter is volunteer-run, with no one getting a salary, including Stull. It's open for adoptions from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day and it's even open on holidays.
Animals don't have holidays, Stull said, and they need to be taken care of every day.
On the chalkboard near the entry of the shelter, it says Animal Ark has taken in 606 animals and adopted 551 of them. As for the budget, she has written, "LOL!"
IF YOU GO
What: Animal Ark Rescue Center, a no-kill shelter
Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, including holidays, for pet adoptions
Where: 7133 Sacerdote Lane (off Schatulga Road in the old Paws Humane building)
Needs: Donations of food (dry for cats and dogs and canned, especially for puppies and kittens), dog and cat treats, blankets, towels, cleaning supplies, puppy pee pads, old newspapers and money. Also, volunteers to answer phones, clean cages, walk dogs and feed animals.