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Weber County Animal Shelter at 150% capacity amid staffing shortage

Posted at 6:42 PM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 00:24:28-04

OGDEN, Utah — Too many animals and not enough staff.

That is a dilemma the Weber County Animal Shelter is currently facing.

Shelter director Chad Averett says they are currently at 150 percent capacity.

"Currently at this facility, we have 381 kennels," Averett said. "We're about 220 animals right now."

He said this is partially due to a couple of recent hoarding cases that brought several animals to the shelter.

"We had received 27 cats in one day and then another 30 or some cats the other day, and then we had a case of animal cruelty regarding some dogs. They had nine pit bulls that we had to come in," said Averett.

Averett said he typically has 17 people on staff. Right now, due to some injuries and illnesses, they are down to just seven employees.

The shortage in staff has forced the shelter to close for about an hour and a half during the day.

Averett said they also had to close for an entire day recently to catch up on cleaning the animals and administrative duties.

They are now holding off on taking in animals for the next 30 days. Averett says that will also apply to euthanizing any animals.

"We just have too many animals here that are on a list that we're trying to save," he said.

While Averett says this is a temporary problem, it is one he recognizes won't be solved overnight.

"Just try to be as understanding as possible, just have patience with us," he said.

Averett told FOX 13 News they will be transferring some of the animals at the shelter to other facilities within the state and even in other states to help mitigate their circumstance.

As for staffing, he said they have hired two more full-time employees. One started last Monday and the other will start next Monday.

Averett hopes they will be back up to full staff next month.

South Salt Lake Animal Services is also feeling the pinch right now.

They posted on their Facebook page Tuesday that they will not be accepting any owner surrenders until further notice. The shelter has been at capacity for the past two weeks.