(WKBN) – It’s National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. According to the ASPCA, every year, 6.3 million companion animals enter shelters across the country.

“The only thing that can help solve the problem is for people to adopt,” said Jane MacMurchy of the Animal Charity of Ohio.

MacMurchy says right now, fitting new animals into their shelter is like playing Tetris, and there’s no sign that the summer influx of animals is letting up.

“If you can, adopt an animal from us that’s an open cage that we can use for a dying animal that’s out there in our community that needs rescued,” said MacMurchy.

She said adopting a shelter dog or cat has benefits. The new owners know the animal’s behavior and that it’s been treated by a vet, which is a bonus when it can take months to get a vet appointment.

“They’re spayed, neutered, microchipped, rabies tags, all the medications they need,” MacMurchy said.

Animal Charity isn’t the only facility full of adoptable pets.

The Angels for Animals medical director says they’ve had an influx of dogs people got during the pandemic that they later surrendered.

“We’ve got a lot of dogs and puppies that have never been socialized, never been trained,” said Theresa McGuire.

An employee at Angels for Animals is currently fostering a dog named Gilbert, but they have dozens of other dogs that need a home, like Duke, who was brought in when a bystander saw a man throw him out of his truck. He had a broken leg that was amputated and is recovering at the shelter.

An injury that large puts a big strain on shelter resources. McGuire said if you’re considering adopting a shelter pet, give it time to settle into your home.

“It usually takes a solid three months to get that dog to where it fully trusts you,” said McGuire.

MacMurchy says if you aren’t ready to adopt, consider fostering. She says it gives you a chance to be around animals without a life-long commitment and it’s good for the pets, too.

“Get an animal out of the shelter setting and give them a chance to decompress,” McGuire finished.