Overcrowding may force shelter to euthanize animals for first time in 5 years

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. – The West Memphis Animal Shelter is so over-capacity, it may have to begin euthanizing animals to make way for new ones.

It would be the first time the shelter has had to euthanize because of space concerns in her five years as director, Kerry Facello said.

With room for only 38 dogs, Facello said the shelter had 49 Wednesday afternoon.

It’s almost double its capacity for cats with more than 60 of them when there’s only room for 32.

Some animals are being housed in offices. Others are sharing kennels.

“I don’t double up kennels. It’s not the way we like to do business, but right now, we’re trying to buy time,” said Facello.

Facello said the shelter plans to hold off on making the decision to euthanize for as long as possible, but that may only be a matter of days.

“It would rock our world something terrible. For me to put down a healthy, adoptable pet simply because he’s taking up too much room is heartbreaking,” she said.

Adoptions are down, and the shelter’s usual safety net of third-party rescue groups and foster homes are also over-capacity.

Dogs at the shelter can be adopted for $100. Cats are $40.