MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Tacoma animal shelter reports severe overcrowding as they look for people to take pets

Jun 14, 2023, 6:42 AM

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

(Photo from KIRO 7)

(Photo from KIRO 7)

Animal shelters across the Puget Sound region complain kennel space is now hard to come by. The Tacoma & Pierce County Humane Society reports an increased number of surrendered pets is contributing to severe overcrowding. Over the weekend, the shelter announced it was around 70 dogs over capacity.

“That’s a lot of animals to try and find space for,” said Lindsey Heaney with the Tacoma & Pierce County Humane Society. “We’re really low on kennel space right now. We could also use foster homes.”



Heaney shared that right now, the shelter is trying to combat a rise in upper respiratory illnesses. A few weeks ago, roughly fifteen dogs showed signs of kennel cough. Heaney says space is so limited, they’ve hardly got enough room for the sick dogs to quarantine.

Sarah Hock, Executive Director of Joint Animal Services in Thurston County further emphasized the risks associated with overcrowding in shelters, stating, “Once a shelter becomes overpopulated and we’re beyond our capacity, that’s when we start running the risk of disease and communal disease spread.”

Hock believes the surge in surrendered pets is caused by work-from-home restrictions, a shortage of veterinarians, economic uncertainty, and COVID-related spay and neuter delays. According to Hock, historically cats are harder to rehome. However, that trend has shifted.

“We’ve got dogs coming into the system, and we’re having a hard time getting them out,” said Hock. “A lot of shelters are struggling to find a placement, especially for those large dogs.”

Hock reports, Joint Animal Services hold the capacity to care for 95 animals at a time. Currently, they’re looking after 129.

“The longer one animal sits, that’s another animal that can’t come in and get our help,” said Hock.



MyNorthwest News

Red Cross...

Bill Kaczaraba

South King Fire offering free smoke alarm installation for Federal Way residents

The American Red Cross is set to host a home fire safety event, Sound the Alarm, on Saturday, April 27, 2024.

2 hours ago

UW rape...

Bill Kaczaraba

Did UW know about rape allegations against Tybo Rogers before allowing him to play?

Seattle police implied that UW was aware of a rape accusation against sophomore running back Tylin Rogers before he continued to play.

3 hours ago

kroger opioid...

Frank Sumrall

Kroger to pay nearly $50M to Washington to combat fentanyl crisis

Kroger is sending Washington $47.5 million to combat the fentanyl epidemic in an agreed-upon pending resolution championed by Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

5 hours ago

amber alert tri-cities...

Frank Sumrall

Amber Alert: Tri-Cities double murder suspect on the run after kidnapping 1-year-old

WSP is actively conducting a search for a Tri-Cities man who abducted a one-year-old boy after allegedly killing two people Monday night.

7 hours ago

Photo: A driver uses a phone while behind the wheel of a car on April 30, 2016 in New York City....

Micki Gamez

AAA: Washington is one of the worst states for distracted driving

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and to to shine a light on the subject, AAA Washington has teamed up with Safe Drive Club.

18 hours ago

Photo: Police arrested a man accused of shooting a Tacoma boxing legend...

Julia Dallas

Police make arrest in shooting of Tacoma boxing legend following nationwide manhunt

Police have arrested a 27-year-old man in connection with the shooting of a Tacoma boxing legend after a nationwide search.

19 hours ago

Tacoma animal shelter reports severe overcrowding as they look for people to take pets