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Many Utah animal shelters are at capacity

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SALT LAKE CITY — Many animal shelters in Utah are running over capacity right now as the number of people looking to adopt has dropped drastically.

Inflation and other factors may be contributing, but it's hard to say exactly what is happening right now.

The Humane Society of Utah has heard from shelters all over state that need help.

If you've ever considered adding to your family, now might be the time. You're likely to have your pick with so many shelters full.

Danielle Knowles has a special place in her heart for rescues. She was getting her cat Lucky his vaccinations Wednesday after adopting him a couple of weeks ago.

"I had one previously and then he passed away, unfortunately," she said. "My daughter here has been wanting another kitty cat so we got her one for just after Christmas."

The Humane Society hopes more people will stop by.

"However, we are fortunate that we are not as full as some of our municipal shelter friends," Madison Cushing, social media coordinator for the Humane Society said.

Even though they are above capacity, Cushing said they have rushed to the aid of several smaller shelters. "In the past 10 days alone we have transferred in 49 animals – 29 cats and 20 dogs," she added.

They have nearly 240 animals right now. Not all of them are immediately available for adoption, but many are.

"But we definitely have seen an increased amount over the past few months. It is true that the animal shelters are very full right now, and we want to prevent euthanasia for time and space as best we can," Cushing said.

It is hard to pinpoint exactly what is leading to the problem, but it is normal for things to slow down in January.

"People are just getting over the holidays and dealing with the cost and expense that came from that, and just getting a chance to relax, but it is times a hundred what it normally is. I would definitely say this year it's very overcrowded," Cushing said.

If you can, you might end up like Knowles and her family. "We found the perfect little guy for our family," she said.

The Humane Society says it has helped take in animals from shelters in Salt Lake County all the way down to Hurricane.

Some shelters are starting to see relief though. Davis County has leveled off after a very busy 2022.


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Mike Anderson
Mike Anderson often doubles as his own photographer, shooting and editing most of his stories. He came to KSL in April 2011 after working for several years at various broadcast news outlets.


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