Adams County animal shelter overwhelmed with available pets

An animal shelter already chomping at the bits is calling on everyone across the state for new owners to step up.

Adams County is one of the smallest counties in Washington but has the most pets looking for a home. At one point last year, Adams County Pet Rescue (ACPR) was 100 dogs over capacity when it should only have 40.

ACPR adopted some dogs in Seattle over the weekend for National Pet Adoption Week at PetSmart. Though, the road ahead is so much more with a consistently overwhelming number of homeless animals.

FOX 13 spoke with Travis Lillard, a local dad who adopted his family's second dog, Trench, from ACPR. 

"He's just really opened up to be a super sweet dog with all the kids," Lillard said. "All my daughters, he's an individual relationship with each one. He's just a really nice dog."

FOX 13 also spoke with Tom Whitmore, a Seattle man who rescued a kitten, Anne, from ACPR with his partner.  

"Her attitude - she was standing there with her tail held high just running towards them," Whitmore said. "It made my partner, Karen, totally fall in love with her."

Pets, particularly rescues, can often re-define what we consider "perfect."

adams county Animal shelter

Adams County Pet Rescue

Dogs with throbbing injuries, quills to the face, pets tied up like cattle – animals that have nothing else to express other than innocence. These are all examples of once homeless animals at ACPR.

At times, there are hundreds of these kinds of faces in Othello. Just waiting for the right someone who sees their potential - beyond life's injuries.

"He had a broken leg. And they found him in an irrigation trench," Lillard said. "He had to have a couple surgeries - both on the leg that was broken and then the hips."

"Her face had a massive, black infection on one side," Whitmore said. "When they took her in, her eye fell out."

Trench and Anne are some of the lucky ones – their owners didn't care about their arduous beginnings.

"I felt really sad that you got a dog that may not be picked because of injuries," Lillard said. "People seem to see animals that might have an injury, and then it's like - oh, well that's going to cost me too much. Well, they still want a loving home to go to."

"Her spirit was so wonderful, we just had to make sure that that cat was still in the world," Whitmore said.

ACPR told FOX 13, because they're located in such a rural area, spay and neuter numbers are low. Those procedures are expensive and there are limited opportunities to get them done for free in the area.

Cardboard boxes with the newest litter get dropped off weekly, sometimes daily. At one point last year, volunteers said it felt like it would never end.

Inflation cranking up pet food prices and limited space in Othello generates fear and concern regularly. How will they get every animal adopted? And what happens when they can't afford it anymore?

If you want a new pet, ACPR encourages you to consider them first. This rescue in Othello overwhelmingly receives more dogs and cats than any other shelter in the northwest.

You never know – your 'bestest' friend could be waiting for you right now in Adams County.

"When it is great, it gives me a sense having saved a life that would otherwise be lost," Whitmore said. "Their lives are wonderful."

"They know they've been rescued," Lillard said. "They know where they were and where they're at now. They know they're in a better place."

Eighty-four percent of cat and dog adoptions are from outside of Adams County. The majority come from the west side; Spokane, Idaho, Oregon and Canada.

Sixty-three percent of ACPR's animals are strays. ACPR's Facebook page has more information. 


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