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Fort Worth Shelter To Send Overflow Dogs, Cats North

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Fort Worth is preparing to start its first direct, out of state transfer of dogs and cats, during a summer when they're coming in to the city shelter at a higher rate.

The transfers to northern states, where there is more demand for adoptable pets, could start as soon as next month.

The transfers come at a time when Fort Worth's Chuck Silcox Animal Care Facility is holding more animals than it has room for. Through Monday, 735 animals had come into the shelter during July, 15 percent more than 2017. Only 309 had been adopted out. That number is down about 30 percent.

shelter dog
Fort Worth shelter dog (CBS11)

Assistant Director Dr. Tim Morton said Tuesday an increase in summer is typical, following spring breeding seasons, and more surrenders as people move.

This year he speculated other agencies, also faced with full facilities, have provided more competition for finding homes for pets.

"It puts pressure on the city of Fort Worth and our shelter, but for dogs in the city of Fort Worth it's a good thing," Morton said.

Fort Worth has participated in programs to send animals to northern states for the past year, Morton said, where shorter breeding seasons, and longer winters lead to fewer animals in shelters.

A new 27-foot trailer will allow the city start making its own arrangements and transfers though for the first time. Jean Walker, through the North Texas Community Foundation, donated the $56,000 trailer which can hold up to 53 animals.

Morton said the city is working on agreements with partners in Minnesota, and with local animal welfare groups to help with transporting dogs and cats out of state. The trips could start as soon as August.

Other local agencies, like the Humane Society of North Texas, make similar trips out of state, sometimes every other week. That agency has successfully moved nearly 1,300 animals out of state in 2018.

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