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Oklahoma Dogs Facing Euthanasia Look To Iowa For Hope

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SAND SPRINGS, Oklahoma -

Animal advocates in Green Country are on a mission to give dozens of dogs a new life. 

None of the city-run shelters in our state are no-kill shelters and rescues are full. 

Many of these dogs will be euthanized if they can't raise the money to get them out of Oklahoma.

It's not cheap. They need about $100 per dog for the trip Tuesday, plus the cost of renting a van to get them to Iowa. 

It's a state that seems to be ahead of the growing and deadly problem of overpopulation that we have here.

Pete is a dog here in Oklahoma that is hoping to head up north.  

"He is a 70-pound lap dog. But he is just hard, harder to find a space for,” said Stacey Zahn with STAR Rescue.  

Pete has been trapped in a cage at Sand Springs Animal Control since November. 

He's one of 40 Oklahoma dogs ready to wag his tail up to Iowa.

"They can sit down here for months, but up there, they're adopted probably within a week," said Zahn. 

Zahn said that's because in Oklahoma, rescue shelters are too full, adoptions are too low, and the population is too high. 

"Unfortunately we have to euthanize. And that's just a fact of life here in Oklahoma," said Tracy Arvidson with Sand Springs Animal Control. 

Last year, the shelter took in 330 dogs. 33 were euthanized and that's just in Sand Springs.

"It's very frustrating, and I mean the animals, they're just guilty of being born," Arvidson said. 

"Just one litter is really devastating. People just don't understand. They think 'well I found homes for all of mine' but typically you know we see a lot of them after a few months," said Arvidson. 

"Tulsa has spay/neuter laws but they're just not enforced. There's not enough manpower to enforce them," Zahn said, "the small towns around, like Sand Springs and Bixby, don't have those yet. So, until we can get them on the books, and they're enforced.”
Until then, Zahn and other advocates will keep working around the clock to get each innocent animal like Pete out of the cage and into a loving home. 

“When you see these dogs that have been sitting for months in a shelter go up there and get adopted in a week, it's a beautiful thing," said Zahn. 

The Sand Springs Animal Control said while we have low-cost spay/neuter clinics, they're usually full and booking weeks in advance.

But states like Iowa, Wisconsin, and Colorado have better laws, more rescues, and more clinics. 

If you would like to help with Tuesday's trip, you can visit the STAR Rescue website

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