Pierce County animal shelter hosts event as 17,000 pets expected to be evicted

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — Across the country dogs, cats, and other small creatures are saying goodbye to the shelter and hello to their forever homes. On Tuesday we went to the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County as it held its ‘Empty the Shelters’ event.

With the help of the BISSELL Pet Foundation, all adoption fees for prospective pets at the shelter are waived until October 15. But the reason why most of the animals are there is something that hits close to home for pet owners living in a rental.

“Over 100 animals available for adoption. So not only do we have animals here at the shelter but we also have animals in foster homes as well,” said Lindsey Heany with the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County.

A majority of the animals coming to the shelter are there for the same reason.

“Our pet support team has seen a rise of requests from pet owners needing help due to the high cost of living,” said Heany.

The high cost of living, expensive pet rent, weight restrictions, and even breed restrictions are making it hard if not impossible to own a pet in Washington. Luckily in Pierce County, some relief came this year.

“The city of Tacoma breed restrictions, particularly with pit bulls for example has been changed recently so there’s new legislature around breed-specific requirements and restrictions on rental properties,” said Heany.

According to the shelter, the human animal support services calculator estimates in the next 30 to 90 days, 17,000 pets will be evicted from homes in Pierce County alone, making an event like Tuesday’s crucial so there’s more room for animals later.

With every adoption comes more support and low-cost resources for those who need it.

Low-cost microchips, a pet food and supply pantry, and a spay/neuter wellness program are just some of the additional services the shelter offers to pet owners.

Applications to adopt can be filled out online or in person. We learned that in the first two days of the event, 23 animals were already adopted.

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