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

The Humane Society of Utah is asking the community for help after finding their kennels are so full they are struggling to take in more dogs.

Barks and howls filled the halls on Wednesday, while friendly, furry faces filled every single kennel at the Humane Society’s Murray Animal Shelter. It wasn’t that busy last week.

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

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

The main reason they are seeing such a large influx? The owner is giving up because of home insecurity, Shuster said.

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

Because of the increase, they couldn’t transfer dogs from other shelters, Shuster said. Normally, the Humane Society of Utah receives many dogs through their transfer program. Shuster said they are able to accept dogs from shelters across Utah, including rural areas where many people may not adopt.

Many animal shelters in Utah are busy

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

They’re trying to work with people who need to give up a dog, and Shuster explained that anyone who has an appointment will call and ask them to keep the dog for another week to prevent overcrowding at the Humane Society of Utah.

Dogs that cannot be accommodated in their shelter will be taken to foster homes.

On Wednesday afternoon, Katie Knighton walked through the front door to check out a big dog named Simba. After realizing he was too big for her household, she discovered Hazelnut, an eight-week-old puppy she had seen on the Humane Society of Utah’s social media pages.

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

“She’s wrapped in my arms right now,” Knighton said, gently patting Hazelnut’s back.

Shuster hopes more people like Knighton will come and fall in love with puppies like Hazelnut.

“That’s the one,” Knighton said, holding the little ball of fur in her arms. “So it’s her. We have two other dogs so she suits them well.”

The Humane Society of Utah is hosting a large breed dog adoption special this weekend. Shuster said adoption fees will be reduced by 50% for all dogs weighing 50 pounds or more. The Humane Society of Utah is hosting the event on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m

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