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OKC Animal Welfare at capacity, offers free dog and cat adoptions Saturday

Photo by Crystal Lewis McDermott
Plenty of dogs and cats at the OKC Animal Shelter need forever homes.
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OKLAHOMA CITY -- On Saturday, the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Shelter will host a free pet adoption “Clear the Shelter” event to help save the lives of homeless animals.

With nearly 2,500 animals entering the shelter in the month of June alone, the Animal Shelter is at full capacity. To help adopt out the dogs, puppies, cats and kittens, the Animal Shelter will waive all adoption fees for the available animals.

“Every summer, our animal population doubles,” said Animal Welfare Superintendent Jon Gary. “Obviously, we see a lot of kittens this time of year. It’s cat season. We get 70 percent of our cats for the entire year between May and July.”

The shelter also has a higher influx of dogs and puppies during the summer months as well.

“Today, we have over 100 in the animals available, mostly dogs,” said Gary. “We hope to have about 200 available this weekend for the adoption day. This time of year, we always have an overflow at the shelter.”

The shelter hopes to adopt out all the animals during the free adoption event.

“In order to save the lives of these animals, we have to move them through,” said Gary. “I know it sounds heartless, but we have to adopt out these animals. When you adopt an animal, you’re actually saving two lives – the life of the pet you adopt and the life of the animal that will be able to take that pet’s kennel space.”

Oklahoma City continues to have a higher-than- normal homeless pet population, Gary added. The overpopulation problem in the shelter reflects the overpopulation problem within the city limits.

“We take in about 24,000 animals a year. For a city our size, that number should be 12,000,” he said. “The homeless pet population is off the charts here. We’re a little behind the times when it comes to animal welfare and spaying and neutering.”

Austin, for instance, takes in less than 12,000 homeless pets a year while Indianapolis – which is similar in size to Oklahoma City – takes in 12,000 to 15,000 animals a year.

“This is why spaying and neutering is so crucial,” Gary said. “We’re making strides though. Ten years ago, we were taking in over 30,000 animals and only 25 percent of animals came out of the shelter alive.

In 2016, 73 percent came out alive, but we know we can go higher. Our new goal is 90 percent. We want to get that number as high as we can.”

The Oklahoma City Animal Shelter also offers free spaying and neutering for pets in the Oklahoma City limits.

“We need the community to help us by taking advantage of the free cat and dog adoption special this Saturday,” said Gary. “First and foremost, that will give a forever home to the pets already in our care, but it will also make room for the pets we’ll care for during the rest of the summer. It’s critical for us to save lives with this event.”

All dog and cat adoption fees will be waived at Animal Welfare, 2811 SE 29th Street, from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 8, or until all available animals are adopted. Animal Welfare is open for adoptions from noon to 5:30 p.m. every day but holidays. All adoptable pets are spayed or neutered, treated for worms and up-to- date on vaccinations.

Go to okc.gov/animalwelfare for more information.

Photos by Crystal Lewis McDermott

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Heide Brandes

Heide Brandes is an award-winning journalist and editor with more than 18 years of experience....

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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