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Yakima County explores creating county-run canine shelter to address stray animal crisis

YAKIMA COUNTY, WA (KIMA)– The Yakima Humane Society takes on the brunt of stray animals in Yakima County and now commissioners are looking into the possibility of a canine shelter ran by the county as a solution.

This humane society says they are still overwhelmed saying quote “Due to the overwhelming number of homeless pets in Yakima County, the Yakima Humane Society is continually running at or over capacity.”

County commissioner Kyle Curtis is now aware too.

“I had a conversation with the executive director of the humane society and was brought to my attention that on average they have about 100 dogs that are being turned away,” Curtis said.

“I still think there is a future for dog tags and the revenue that can be turned right around into animal facilities, but that’s a bigger conversation,” Udell said. “How do we do that? How do we get the initial staffing and then move forward with that?”

We asked Curtis what would have to happen to be able to financially make a canine shelter work in the long term.

“I think we’d have to get creative there,” Curtis said. “I know a lot of counties what they lean into heavily is dog licensing and quite frankly we at the county have been relaxed about enforcing dog licensing. If that program gets up and running and people know when they buy a dog license that those dollars go to help support a canine shelter, I think it’s a win for everyone.”

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