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Animal shelters struggle against overflow of abandoned pets

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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

Some shelters, like the Weber County Animal Shelter, can't take in any more dogs. They need volunteers, food and adoptions, and they need them 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 the shelter's 17 positions are filled.

"We try to budget like a certain amount of kennels per employee," Gutierrez explains. "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 in the past.

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 South Salt Lake Animal Services.

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

A puppy who was thrown out the window in May, little Malin, is getting ready for adoption. The puppy was found by a woman who was walking near 3300 South and 300 West in South Salt Lake, who then walked the puppy to a nearby veterinarian. Malin, a long-haired Chihuahua and Pomeranian mix, suffered two broken back legs, two rib fractures and potentially a punctured lung and spinal injuries.

"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 to work.

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UtahNorthern UtahSalt Lake CountyWeber County
Mike Anderson, Michael Houck


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