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The Louisville Metro Animal Services shelter is overcrowded with dogs, so waiving fees in an effort to encourage owners to come claim their pets. If the shelter runs out of kennels to hold the animals, some dogs could be euthanized.

LMAS has more than a hundred kennels for dogs and takes in up to 15 dogs everyday. LMAS Director Ozzy Gibson said many of these dogs likely belong to people, but many haven’t been claimed and the center is near capacity.

Gibson is trying to avoid reaching capacity by asking the Kentucky Humane Society for help, and by waiving redemption fees during the month of July. These redemption fees are ones pet owners pay when they claim their pets, and include impounding, spaying and neutering. Gibson said waiving those fees should  encourage owners to claim their dogs.

If LMAS reaches capacity, Gibson said they would have to euthanize some dogs who could have been adopted.

“We’re in this predicament because the people that own the pet don’t care enough to come get it or don’t have enough money,” Gibson said, adding that he can arrange payment options with owners in order to release their pets. “It is an uphill battle everyday there due to the fact of a revolving door of animals.”

Since 2017, LMAS has qualified as a No-Kill shelter, according to the department’s website. That means in both 2017 and 2018, they didn’t euthanize pets because of how long the animals were there, or because there was not enough space. That was thanks in part to people making room in shelters by fostering dogs. And according to LMAS’s 2018 annual report, nearly 95 percent of dogs brought into the shelter left alive.

Gibson says if LMAS doesn’t resolve the overcrowding, the shelter will not be able to qualify as No-Kill this year. He said people can help by fostering dogs, claiming their pets, or adopting a new pet.

“These poor dogs didn’t ask to be put into this position, and we do our darndest not to euthanize an adoptable pet that has nothing wrong with it,” Gibson said. “If we have to euthanize an adoptable pet, I want to be able to say that we did everything we could.”

Information about fostering and adopting pets at the shelter is on its website here.

Kyeland Jackson is an Associate Producer for WFPL News.