Friends of Rowlett Animals Board Secretary Michele Orahood

Friends of Rowlett Animals Board Secretary Michele Orahood

The Rowlett Animal Shelter has reached a “Code Red” amid high service levels and crowded kennels.

When we reach a capacity nearing the amount of kennels, we have we'll put out a code red, so they don't run out of space,” Friends of Rowlett Animals Board Secretary Michele Orahood said. “We have to find some sort of resource, so they don't have to use the extra space.”

Orahood said the shelter has not euthanized a dog for space since 2014.

“Friends of Rowlett Animals want to make sure that never happens again -- as well as the shelter staff,” she said. “They never want to make those types of decisions.”

Of the 26 available kennels, 17 are currently housing large breed dogs.

“They're all kind of stuck in bringing in as many dogs as they're adopting out,” Orahood, said. “It has a net effect. We just keep trying to get those adoptions to get back down to a safe number of dogs in the shelter.”

Orahood said this is has been a steady issue where the shelter brings in large breed dogs that are not as popular to adopt.

In addition to discounted prices and communicating through social media outlets, the shelter has taken dogs to adoption eventsthroughout the community.

“We got two dogs adopted out of there,” Orahood said. “Unfortunately, we took in as many dogs there as we adopted out. We're trying.”

The shelter reaches code red around three-to-four times per year, according to Orahood.

“In a very unofficial way, it feels like it happens after Clear the Shelters and other big adoption focuses like that,” she added. “It also happens after Christmas. The big dogs – the over 50-pound dogs – are the ones that are a lot harder to get adopted out.”

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