AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – Animal shelters across the country and here in the CSRA experience overcrowding. Many of them especially feel it during the summer months.

That’s why there’s a nation-wide call to adopt.

Local animal shelters need your help with a dire situation. Getting cats and dogs, such as Gabrielle, out of an overcrowded space for your place.

“It’s not good for the pet,” SPCA Albrecht for Animal Welfare Executive Director Susan Gainey told NewsChannel 6. “Pets get anxious and kennel crazy. They don’t get the benefit of having a loving home. It’s not good for the mental health of the pet.”

Anyone wanting a fury friend is in luck. There are tons of wet noses and paw prints to go around. Too many, in fact, to stay in one place.

“We have kennels that have two and three dogs in them. 40 pound dogs. It’s too tight,” said Kathy Cagle, Friends Of The Animal Shelter Program Coordinator.

Both SPCA Albrecht and the Aiken County Animal Shelter are taking part in Bissell Pet Foundation’s national call for adoption Empty the Shelters event. SPCA is at capacity with 200 animals, which Gainey said prevents owner surrenders. The executive director said any loving home, owned or rented, will work. Just complete an application, get matched and be patient.

“I encourage you to give them time,” Gainey said. “How animals act in a shelter environment is not always how they’re going to act in a home and vice versa. They’re going to be scared at first.”

And there’s lots of love to go around. Lars has been at SPCA for almost one year. Oreo and plenty of cats too want families. At the animal shelter, Lex needs a home along with 3-year-old Deuce.

“These are really healthy animals. They’re fixed. They’re microchipped. They’re vaccinated. They’re home ready,” Cagle told us.

Adoption fees for many pets at SPCA and Aiken County Animal Shelter are waived for the week. Gainey said adult cats and adult large dogs fall into the waived fee category. Kittens are $25 and puppies and small dogs are half off. You can find more information here.

Cagle said the animal shelter is actually participating in Pick Me SC this week through July 17. Empty the Shelters begins July 18 and run through the 30th. You can find more information through FOTAS here.

Photojournalist: Gary Hipps