BAY MINETTE, Ala. (WKRG) – It’s happening day and night, unexpectedly on weekends and during the week, sometimes when no one is around to help.

“The most recent was the puppies they left in a nasty basket at the front door. The same day there was a gentleman in a gray truck that just drove by and let a large dog out right here on the roadway and kept driving,” said North Baldwin Animal Shelter Assistant Director Beverly Poiroux.

Those two incidents occurring just last week. More animals are being dumped at North Baldwin Animal Shelter than ever before, and Poiroux says it’s only getting worse.

“Drop offs and surrenders have just skyrocketed. It’s like oh God what are we going to do now. Where are we going to put them? We are completely out of space,” she explained.

The shelter currently has 140 dogs and 20 cats to care for. She says people assume they’re able to handle whatever is left on their doorstep or in the parking lot, but unfortunately it’s not that easy.

“Even though we are a shelter and they say it’s better that they dump them there, if there’s no room that’s not really really better. It just makes things very, very difficult and dangerous. There’s more vetting that needs to go on immediately if you get a load of puppies in they need to get those first vaccines right away. Parvovirus has just run ramped,” said Poiroux.

In some cases shelter staff are able to intervene.

“Yesterday alone I turned down over 20 cats and kittens and that was probably just in a 6-7 hour period,” she added.

But, most times the animals are left alone, in extreme weather conditions with no food or water. She’s urging pet owners to act responsibly and to never abandon an animal. She says if you have no other option, check with your local shelter first.

“The message is now think about it before you get that animal in the first place,” she continued.