Animal shelters struggle against overflow of abandoned pets

Jun 22, 2022, 10:36 PM | Updated: Jun 23, 2022, 10:01 am

SALT LAKE CITY — The summer months are always busy for animal shelters, but for some reason, this year is especially bad.

Some shelters, like Weber County, can’t take in any more dogs. They need volunteers, food, and adoptions, and they need it right away.

“It’s just been absolutely insane how busy we are. We’ve never really been this busy,” said Amparo Gutierrez, assistant director of Weber County Animal Shelter.

She said that only seven of their 17 positions are filled.

Amparo Gutierrez takes care of animals at the Weber County Shelter.

“We try to budget like a certain amount of kennels per employee,” Gutierrez explained. “Especially right now where we don’t have the help to clean, so it’s just us doing everything ourselves.”

The shelter had to get creative, like cutting business hours and even adopting out cats for free for a while.

“All of our adoptable cats that we had at the time were all sick,” Gutierrez said.

All the cats had to be sent with medicine, something that the shelter never did.

One of the adoptable cats at the Weber County Shelter.

Gutierrez said they need volunteers to help clean, donations of food and supplies, and patience from potential adopters.

The South Salt Lake Animal Services is also experiencing staffing and sheltering issues.

“We have four people total that run this shelter, with right now we have 22 dogs and 18 cats,” said Jenica Laws of the South Salt Lake Animal Services. 

However, some animals are getting ready to go to their forever home.

Laws and Little Malin at South Salt Lake Animal Services.

The puppy who was thrown out the window in May, little Malin, is getting ready for adoption.

“We found her forever home, and she will be going home in two weeks,” Laws said.  “She is our little strong warrior.”

If you are 18 and older and wish to volunteer, Gutierrez says that the Weber County Shelter will gladly put you at work. 

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Animal shelters struggle against overflow of abandoned pets