Less Adoptions, More Dogs at Edmond Animal Shelter

Monday, October 3rd 2011, 6:50 pm
By: News 9

Darren Brown, News 9

EDMOND, Oklahoma -- The "dog days" of summer have taken on a whole new meaning at the Edmond animal shelter.  A slow summer adoption season has led to overcrowding at the facility.

A dog's stay at the Edmond animal shelter averages two or three months.  At least that's what it used to be.  Currently the shelter houses at least half a dozen dogs that have been there for more than that. 

Chelsea, a Labrador Retriever mix, has been up for adoption since June, 2010. 

The lack of adoptions has led to a large supply of adoptable canines according to Edmond Police Captain Nicki Smith.

"The shelter has been over-full now for several months," Smith said.  "Adoptions just aren't happening like they have in the past."  

Volunteers at the shelter agree.  Diane Mahon with Paws for Life helps walk and exercise the dogs at the shelter every few days.  She's worried about the toll that a long shelter stay might be taking on the dogs.

"It's kind of a vicious cycle," said Mahon.  "The longer they're here, the more crazy they get in their cages.  Anyone being in a cage for so long, it's just not a good environment." 

Euthanization is not an option that Capt. Smith wanted to discuss, but she admitted that it is a last resort.

"We keep 'em indefinitely if they're adoptable," said Smith.  "If for some reason their adoptability changes because of behavior or health, then we might have to make a tough decision."