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OKC Animal Shelter facing overcrowding, needs community's help

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Bailee is just one of many animals at the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter that needs a home. [PHOTO PROVIDED]
Bailee is just one of many animals at the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter that needs a home. [PHOTO PROVIDED]

1,563. That’s how many animals had entered the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter before the end of the month of April. This is the highest intake in the month of April the shelter has seen in four years. That's about 350 more than the same time period in April 2018.

The shelter has 241 dog kennels available to house dogs entering the shelter, and 40 of those are reserved for animals involved in bite, dangerous, menacing and cruelty cases. That only leaves 201 kennels for stray and owner-surrendered dogs. So far in April, the shelter has averaged taking 38 dogs in per day. At this rate, it does not take long for the shelter to become filled and overcrowding to be an issue. The shelter is now about 200 dogs over capacity.

Although unsure of what is causing the dramatic increase of intake, shelter officials are asking the community for help. The summer months are fast-approaching, which is the busiest time of year for the animal shelter, and if the intake doesn’t slow down soon, euthanasia will be inevitable.

There are many ways to help. If you are wanting to adopt a pet, the shelter is open from noon to 5:30 p.m. seven days a week for adoptions. If you are needing to re-home your pet, consider other options before bringing them to the shelter. The shelter should be a place for pets that are truly lost and in need of shelter.

You also can help by giving the gift of time. The shelter is always in search of volunteers to help with the care of the animals and adoption events. Fostering also is done through the shelter's volunteer program and is always needed.

Donating is another way to help. Monetary donations may be made online on the shelter’s website or in person at the shelter.

To find out more about Oklahoma City Animal Welfare and what you can do to help, visit the shelter at 2811 SE 29 or go to www.okc.gov/animalwelfare.

Jonathan Gary is Oklahoma City Animal Welfare superintendent.

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