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Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter faces desperate situation

Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 4:22 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala, (WBRC) - The Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter finds itself in a desperate situation this week. Too many animals are being brought in and overwhelming the staff and resources.

Just in the last three days, 51 animals have been brought in. Keep in mind, it was just two years ago when the shelter was expanded. They have already outgrown that new space.

Overwhelmed, overworked, and stressed to the max.

“It does take a toll on the staff and we see so many animals come in daily and it’s our responsibility to take care of them,” said shelter intake manager Katie Elliott.

Inside the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter, every single adult dog cage is filled, so there is no more room in the inn.

Katie Elliott says it doesn’t have to be this way. “We just want the community to realize the shelter shouldn’t be the first option to dump a dog out,” she said.

And compounding the problem? “We are in puppy and kitten season,” said Elliott.

The primary issue is people find animals on the road and in most cases they bring them in. Elliott feels there is a better way.

“So if they can open their homes, take in a dog even for a couple of weeks, that’s a couple of weeks out of a shelter environment. We give them resources to keep their animals. If you find a stray, look for the owner, go around and knock on some doors,” Elliott said.

Two years ago, Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa County, and Northport chipped in a million dollars to expand the shelter. Two years later, the shelter is already bursting at the seams.

“We are still over capacity almost everyday,” Elliott said.

To put the overcrowding another way, only 14% of all animals brought in are reclaimed by their owners.

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