STRAY dogs are putting an animal shelter under so much pressure it can no longer take on any new pups.
Bosses at Cheltenham Animal Shelter admitted the numbers being brought in had reached breaking point.
The shelter has 55 dogs, with 40 currently in rehoming kennels. The rest of the 15 dogs are still being in quarantine, despite having finished their eight days in the section.
It is now no longer accepts any sign-over dogs – the name given to canines brought in by members of public who can no longer care for them. The charity, based in Gardeners Lane, takes dogs from Tewkesbury Borough, Cotswold District, Cheltenham Borough, and Gloucester City councils.
Deborah Barron, fundraising and PR manager at the animal shelter, said they had reached the point of having to turn some people away.
She added: "Sadly, we receive many phone calls on a daily basis from people desperate to rehome their pets.
"We hear many genuine reasons for them wanting to sign their pet over into our care. As you can imagine, there are also many frustrating excuses that we hear time and time again."
Among the animals waiting for a new home is Sandy, a tan and white ridgeback boxer who has been at the shelter for more than a year. He was originally brought to the shelter in December 2011 by a Cotswold dog warden.
Deborah said: "He was rehomed, but sadly the adoption did not work out and so he was returned to us in March last year. He has remained with us ever since."
The shelter had 35 dogs on its register from December 1 to Christmas Day but has seen an increase over the new year.
Around seven dogs in the rehoming units have been reserved, with some of them successfully passing their home check and are awaiting collection.
Deborah said: "In the last couple of weeks, it has just been strays coming in and we can't cope with people signing their dogs over. If the quarantine is full, then we will have to turn the strays away, and the councils will have to make some new arrangements for the dogs to go elsewhere. Hopefully the adoptions will go through."
Anyone wanting to adopt a dog should contact the shelter on 01242 523521.