The Heber Valley Animal Shelter is a no-kill shelter servicing Wasatch County. Earlier this month the shelter said it will no longer accept owner surrenders. The shelter says rapid population growth in the county and limited space necessitated the new policy.
According to a report by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, nearly one in five households welcomed a dog or cat during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. With people returning to in-person work and increasing living costs, some of those households are unable to care for the animals they adopted.
Kendall Crittenden is a Wasatch County councilmember. He said the animal shelter has been overwhelmed by owner-surrendered pets.
“So they just want to bring it to animal services and dump it off and let the rest of the citizens in the county take care of their pet through the taxes that go to Animal Services. So that was the situation, they are basically full up. They have no room for more surrendered pets.”
Crittenden said there are a few exceptions to the new policy. Those include situations in which an owner dies and family members can’t care for a pet, emergency medical issues affecting pet owners or owner s who lose their home.
The shelter currently has many cats and dogs for adoption. It’s located at 635 W. Airport Road in Heber City.