Tulsa's Animal Shelter dealing with overcrowding problems

Thursday, October 28th 2004, 10:20 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa's Animal Shelter was already overcrowded, but for the past few months, it's been even worse because of unusual circumstances.

The shelter has to keep several dozen pit bulls that are connected with a criminal case. So that means less room for the dogs that are adoptable.

News on 6 reporter Steve Berg says the pit bulls were part of an alleged dog fighting ring that was broken up a few months back. And until the trial can be held, they have to be kept at the Tulsa Animal Shelter.

The dogs are being kept two to a pen these days at the Tulsa Animal Shelter, to buy them a little more time. Tracy Arvidson with the Animal Shelter: "It's been pretty hard, we still have lots of animals coming in, so we still have to make room for everything, we don't turn anything away."

It's been that way since July, when Tulsa Police confiscated the pit bulls from a suspected dog fighting ring. They take up almost a fourth of the available pens. But until the owners can go to trial and a verdict is reached, this is where they have to stay. That means less room for the usual dogs.

And if just as many are coming in as usual and there's less space than usual, then unfortunately, the result is simple math. "I think we're probably still about on track for intake, so we'll have about as many coming in as we did last year, so it may wind up being more that have to be euthanized."

So the shelter says it's more important than ever to emphasize the importance of spaying and neutering dogs. And to encourage more people to adopt if they can. Right now, they don't how long the current situation will continue. "I guess that depends on the courts and what happens with the case. So we're just here feeding them every day."

That case is still more than a month from going to trial. In a typical month at the shelter, they take in more than 1,200 dogs. Only about 200 get adopted.