Shelter Dogs Need To Go

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It's not quite a fire sale -- but close.

The Payson Humane Society board of directors has decided the shelter's dog population needs to be reduced from 70 to 50 for reasons of health and safety.

"The president of the board of the humane society came to me the other day and told me that according to the town we are only supposed to have 50 dogs and 60 cats," supervisor of dogs Ann Campbell said. "We've only got about 40 cats right now, but we've got close to 70 dogs."

President Larry Stubbs said the shelter is simply overpopulated with dogs.

"Ideally there would be one in every cage, but we can't do that," Stubbs said. "What we'd at least like to do is have two in one cage and one in another to make sure no aggressive dogs are together."

To accommodate the reduction, the shelter is contacting other animal shelters and rescue agencies, including Best Friends in Utah, to see if they have room for any extra dogs.

"We had the Arizona Humane Society come up the other day," Stubbs said. "They took six dogs and one of our puppies down there."

Shelter employees and volunteers hope Rim country residents will help by adopting the rest of the dogs. To that end, a special open house will be held at the shelter from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

"October is Adopt-a-Shelter-Animal month," Campbell said. "We try to have an open house around this time each year, but it's especially important this year.

"It's just a way to get people to come down and see if there isn't a dog they might be able to take home and adopt."

Campbell said the shelter doesn't want to euthanize any dogs if possible.

"Dogs are sometimes more difficult to euthanize because they're healthy," she said. "Usually when we euthanize cats, it's because they're sick."

Campbell believes more dogs will be adopted if people come to the shelter with an open mind.

"When people come in looking for a dog or a cat, they're often looking for a specific breed, and sometimes we don't have what they're looking for," she said.

"For me, personally, I would look at the dogs and see what dog is pretty close to being put down and I would take that dog," Campbell added.

The adoption fee is $50 for a dog that has not yet been spayed or neutered, and that includes a free spay or neuter certificate. Dogs that have already been spayed or neutered are $25. Discounts are available for multiple adoptions.

"We have a lot of dogs right now with current rabies (shots), which is also a savings," Campbell said. "But if people adopt a dog Saturday, I'd be willing to throw the rabies in."

Once the humane society moves into its new facility on Longhorn Road, its capacity will just about double. The projection is to be there in about three years, Stubbs said.

For more information, call the shelter at (928) 474-5590.

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