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Kent County Animal Shelters running out of room as stray dogs pour in

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Asking public to consider adoption, looking for lost animals owners themselves

With area shelters and humane societies at or near full capacity, The Kent County Animal Shelter is asking the public to refrain from bringing in more dogs. Meanwhile, officials are also urging those without a pet to consider adoption

Officials say, local West Michigan shelters and humane societies are running out of room due to high intakes of homeless and displaced dogs.

According to a press release Friday, the Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS) has taken in more than 750 stray dogs and cats since January 2023, with the majority being dogs and puppies.

Angela Hollinshead is the Director of the Kent County Animal Shelter. She says, residents should wait at least 24 hours before bringing a found dog to the shelter unless there is a safety hazard for people or the pet.

“If you find a pet, do everything you can to try to reunite that pet before bringing it to the animal shelter.”

The heartbreaking fact says, Hollinshead, is some dogs simply can’t handle the stress of being put into a shelter. That can, in turn, cause behavioral changes that are unfixable, forcing the animal shelter to have to euthanize the pet.

Meanwhile, she says, adopting a dog is good for the mind, the body, and the heart.

“Simply petting a dog can you lower your blood pressure, that is a scientific fact,” she said. “And having a pet gives you more drive to get out of the house and take it for a walk, it can people who have social anxiety feel like they have a companion, there is a ton of good scientific data that suggests having a pet improves our lives as humans.”

The Kent County Animal Shelter, the Human Society of West Michigan and the Harbor Human Society are all offering reduced or free pet adoptions from May 1st through the 15th as part of the Bissell Pet Foundation "Empty the Shelters" event. Residents are encouraged to contact each organization for more event details.

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