Humane Society of Utah makes adoption plea after shelter fills with dogs

Feb 1, 2023, 11:02 PM | Updated: Feb 2, 2023, 7:05 am

The Humane Society of Utah is asking for help from the community after finding its kennels so full that the group is struggling to take in any more dogs.

Barks and howls filled the halls Wednesday, as friendly, furry faces filled every single kennel at the Humane Society’s Murray shelter. It wasn’t this full last week.

“We’re seeing a lot of large breed dogs, so dogs typically over 45/50 pounds,” said Guinnevere Shuster, director of marketing and communications at the Humane Society of Utah.

The Humane Society of Utah is full on dogs, Shuster explained, after nearly 60 large-breed dogs and puppies showed up at its facility in the last five days — raising the total number of dogs in its care to 80.

The number one reason they’re seeing such a huge influx? Owner surrenders because of housing insecurity, Shuster said.

“I think a lot, unfortunately, comes down to people being able to afford their pets right now or being able to even find affordable housing that allows large breed dogs,” she said.

They haven’t been able to transfer in any dogs from other shelters, Shuster indicated, because of the increase. Normally, the Humane Society of Utah receives a lot of dogs through its transfer program. Shuster said they’re able to take in dogs from shelters throughout Utah, including from rural areas that may not see many people adopting.

Many Utah animal shelters are at capacity

“Unfortunately, when our kennels are full, our first responsibility is to the community and to the individuals who need our help,” Shuster said.

They are trying to work with people who need to surrender a dog, and Shuster explained that if someone has an appointment they will call and ask them to hold the dog for another week to prevent overcrowding at the Humane Society of Utah.

Dogs not able to be housed at their shelter are taken to foster homes.

On Wednesday afternoon, Katie Knighton walked in the front doors to look at a large dog named Simba. After realizing he was too big for her household, she spotted Hazelnut, an 8-week-old puppy, that she had seen on the Humane Society of Utah’s social media pages.

Knighton requested to do a meet and greet with Hazelnut. The delicate pup shivered and curled up as Knighton held her.

“She’s just wrapped up in my arms,” Knighton said, gently petting Hazelnut’s back.

Shuster is hoping more people like Knighton will come in and fall in love with pups like Hazelnut.

“This is the one,” Knighton said, with the small furball cradled in her arms. “She’s it, so. We’ve got two other dogs, so she’ll fit in great with them.”

The Humane Society of Utah is running an adoption special this weekend for large-breed dogs. Shuster said all dogs weighing 50 pounds or more will have their adoption fees cut by 50%. The Humane Society of Utah is running the event Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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Humane Society of Utah makes adoption plea after shelter fills with dogs