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Animal rescues put strain on nonprofit shelters

Posted at 3:33 PM, Jun 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-30 16:40:52-04

An emergency animal shelter is now open in Bixby to help house some of the nearly 150 pets the Humane Society of Tulsa has recently taken on recently and resources are being stretched thin.

The Humane Society of Tulsa's main location near 61st and Sheridan was closed Thursday, because it didn't have enough staff to run that facility and the emergency shelter.

The need for animal rescues particularly from hoarding situations continues to grow. Much of the work falls on nonprofits due to limited municipal resources. Some cities don't even have their own shelters.

"In smaller communities, so Bixby, Jenks, Sapulpa, Sand Springs– they all have their own animal control. Jenks has a pound. It is very small. Sapulpa has a pound. Bixby does not have a physical pound right now," said Evan Fadem, with the Humane Society.

This leads to nonprofits teaming up with local city agencies to care for rescued animals. The emergency shelter is holding about 20 dogs for the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office. It also helped Tulsa animal control with a hoarding situation just this month-- if they hadn't assisted, many of the animals would like have been euthanized.

Fadem adopted her own pets from the Humane Society of Tulsa and came back to volunteer. That was three years ago and now she works fulltime as the center's executive director.

"It's emotionally draining." Fadem said. "You see the absolute worst in people at times."

They are caring for nearly 70 larger dogs along with around 60 Chihuahuas-- all taken from just two Green Country homes in recent days. Many animals rescued are in bad health and are malnourished.

Fadem said some of the bright spots help make up for the emotional toll. Like uniting "fur babies", as she calls them, with new owners. 

"You turn around and see the absolute greatest in people," Fadem said.

To help adopt out some of the dozens of new animals– the Humane Society of Tulsa is waving many of its fees Friday and Saturday. Get more information here.