Dickinson Animal Shelter almost at capacity

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DICKINSON, N.D. - You may already have several furry friends sitting at home with you, but one shelter is hoping you open your door for one more.

The Dickinson Animal Shelter is almost at full capacity, and volunteers are asking for help.

Meet Molly. She's a two-month old Australian Shepherd waiting for someone to take her home. She's one of more than 25 cats and dogs at the crowded Dickinson Animal Shelter.

"We are overloaded with dogs just as much as cats," says Elora Peters, volunteer.

Volunteer Elora Peters has been working at the shelter for more than a year and a half.

She says she's never seen it this full.

"I believe it's a lot of the oil boom crash. People just leaving animals behind and dumping them as they go. Just can't take them with them," says Peters.

The shelter procedure is to hold an animal for 10 days. After those 10 days are over, the animal goes up for adoption.

Volunteers say euthanizing the animals is a final option they usually avoid. They will send them to another rescue shelter first, but those are getting full as well.

"Once in a while, we'll have the owners come and claim them, but the cats - there's very few owners that come and claim the cats," says Peters.

The shelter held special adoption hours Friday in hopes of sending several furry friends off to a new home.

"I treat the animal here like I treat my ones at home, and I hope all of these go to a very good home today," says Diane Hatzenbuehler, volunteer.

Although the shelter doesn't have any plans to expand, volunteers say it would be a tremendous help.

"We always more animals than people can take, and all the other rescues are full as well so the more rescues, I think the better," says Peters.

The Dickinson Animal Shelter is open Monday through Thursday 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To schedule an appointment with the shelter, call 456-7039.