Behind the rows of kennels at the Idaho Falls animal shelter are dogs and cats looking for homes.
“They realize that the love and affection a human will give them is better than the life they had before,” said Alicia Kelly, a shelter volunteer.
For Kelly, visiting the animals is somewhat therapeutic. Having adopted her three pets from the shelter, Alicia said shelter animals often get overlooked.
“They’ve been through a lot and that means they make even better pets,” said Kelly.
As the shelter nears capacity, some animals will have to be euthanized to make room for others.
“We usually pick the ones that have been here the longest, the oldest and the ones that have the least interest in them,” said Gayle Ramirez, an Animal Control Officer.
In 2011 over 2,500 dogs were brought to the pound and around 200 had to be euthanized.
Cats didn’t fare well, either. Last year 2,243 were impounded, 262 were adopted and 1,796 were put down.
“Just holding them and getting them used to that human interaction helps them be adoptable in the future,” said Jolynne Shelton, a shelter volunteer.
Idaho Falls isn’t the only shelter nearing capacity. Pounds in Rexburg, Blackfoot and Pocatello also need help finding homes for their animals.
To take a look at the animals up for adoption in Idaho Falls, visit the shelter’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Idaho-Falls-Animal-Shelter/171584380101