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'Overpopulation crisis' | Green Country animal shelters maxed out, animals in need

Tulsa Animal Welfare shelter cats kittens adopt.png
Posted at 9:56 PM, Jun 24, 2024

TULSA, Okla. — The heat isn't just affecting Green Country's humans.

Tulsa Animal Welfare told 2 News its shelter on Erie Avenue is bursting with new arrivals every day and room and resources are running out fast. The heat also makes conditions easier for disease to spread.

In Tulsa, Alexandra Harris found herself a foster dog mom after a severe thunderstorm in May brought two pups to her doorstep. She found the dogs, named Greta and Henry, lacked a loving home and more critically, needed to be fixed and vaccinated.

"Greta is a puppy, and I believe she was used for breeding. So I believe that was her second litter. She lost her babies," Harris said.

"I have never met nicer dogs when they're in the right situation and they feel comfortable. They're traumatized so they need the right home, I think."

Harris said she stepped up because the need it so great right now.

Shelters across Green Country, including at Tulsa Animal Welfare, have little to no room, according to TAW Manager Sherry Carrier.

"There's definitely an overpopulation crisis for cats and dogs," Carrier said. "It's breeding season. Summer usually is."

Last week the shelter took in 139 cats and dogs in total. Some strays, some surrendered, and some simply lost.

What's worse, Carrier added, is the week of the 4th of July is usually the busiest intake week of the year, and that's soon.

"It's just increasingly worse. This facility that we're in currently is not up to date like it should be. It's not as large as it needs to be," she said.

Carrier's department needs to raise $3.7 million in donations to help fund a building big enough to handle these surges.

The shelter and residents like Harris are pleading for the public to help in the most important ways.

"We do have some really great community members, and there is no way we can manage the population that we do without them," Carrier said.

"It just really takes a community effort to remember to spay and neuter, and to not go try to buy puppies because there are so many great dogs at our shelters," Harris said.

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