MISSOULA, Mont. - Missoula's Animal Control Shelter has a serious overpopulation problem. The government agency has little vacancy. But it's required to take in strays, no matter what.
Overcrowded conditions are prompting the shelter to remind the public that its animals are up for adoption.
Forty-five cats live at the Animal Control shelter. That's twice the number the shelter is really comfortable with. But it's especially concerned with its high dog numbers.
"We got a lot of dogs, and not a lot of space," said Animal Control's Nikki Munro, "and we want to find them all homes."
Nikki holds a male Pekingese on her lap. The little dog was abandoned with four other dogs. He will soon be ready for adoption.
Some dogs run away.
The shelter's population usually increases in the summertime.
"A lot of these dogs are going towards waterways so they can play," said the Animal Control shelter interim director Erin Horner.
There are 43 dogs in-house, with room for 24, and even that number doesn't leave room for emergencies. Animal Control can't say no.
"If we don't have room for them," said Horner, "we have to make room for them."
The dogs are walked and socialized every day.
Potential adopters have a lot to choose from.
Clyde's a short-haired yellow dog with a sweet temper. Carla Boehmler met him at the shelter Monday. On Tuesday, she filled out the adoption application.
"I'm gonna take him home," said Boehmler, "Yeah."
It cost $60 to adopt a cat, and $85 to adopt a dog at the Animal Control Shelter.
All animals are spayed, neutered and micro-chipped.
The shelter is located near the airport, at 6700 Butler Creek Road in Missoula.