Her Sunshine Child (rocza) wrote in uw,
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State's Largest Animal Shelter Sounding Euthanasia Alert

TACOMA - The state’s largest animal shelter is sounding a euthanasia alert. The shelter at the Humane Society of Tacoma and Pierce County is filled to capacity and animals will soon have to be put down.

They're not sugar-coating the situation. If animals, especially cats, aren't adopted out right now, they're going to have to start putting many of them to death.

Vet's assistant Yahleeyah Blackwell says working here, you can't help but get attached to some of these animals.

"I helped (a mother cat) deliver two Saturdays ago because she was having a complication," Blackwell said.

But unless something is done, a death sentence awaits many of these animals. Last year, 2,500 cats and dogs were killed because no one would adopt them.

It's heartbreaking for those who have to make the call of who lives and who dies.

"Some days it's harder than others," said Melissa Rathbun, veterinary technician. "You'll cry, you'll leave here upset. Especially when it gets to the point where we have to start turning them away or making the call."

That day has come. The shelter is filled to capacity and all 300 foster families have pets. Wednesday, the Humane Society put out its 'euthanasia alert' saying you need to know the ugly truth.

"The community needs to understand the severity of the problem," said Kitty Gibbs of the Tacoma-Pierce County Humane Society. "Here in Pierce County, we have one of the worst pet overpopulation problems in the state if not on the West Coast."

Talking about euthanasia makes folks uncomfortable. They'd rather not think about it. But the board of this Humane Society decided the hard truth was critical in saving these animals' lives.

"I think it's important that people are educated to the fact that they have to be euthanized and put down," said shelter visitor Lana Sponberg. "And I think the more people are reminded of these types of things then hopefully the less of a problem it will be."

This place is trying to become a no-kill shelter, but with shelter being full, the euthanasia alert is being sounded.

To help ease the crisis, there's an Adopt-A-Thon Saturday, May 6 with reduced adoption fees. It runs from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the shelter at 2608 Center St, Tacoma. It is also at the Tacoma and Lakewood PETsMART stores and Wild Birds Unlimited in Gig Harbor.

They say if you adopt one pet, you save two lives. The life of your new pet and the pet you then make room for here at the shelter.

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