Surplus of dogs, so no adoption fee

Surplus of dogs, so no adoption fee

The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County has so many dogs in its shelter, it’s begging the public to adopt them. For free, temporarily.

The agency is waiving adoption fees for adult dogs from March 12-17. As of March 11, the shelter in Tacoma was caring for about 120 canines, plus another 39 in foster homes.

“As one of the few open-admission animal shelters in the state, we take in animals no matter their age, breed, or behavioral and medical needs. Just last week, we tended to a dog that had been shot three times and was among 10 rescued in a mere 72 hours, pushing our capacity to the limits,” said Leslie Dalzell, chief executive officer of the local Humane Society. “We are now needing to double or even triple kennel occupancy to provide care for our community’s most vulnerable animals.”

Every adoptable dog has had a wellness exam from shelter staff, been spayed or neutered, received their initial vaccines, and is microchipped with national registration. Their pictures and information are available at

Adoption fees, when in effect, can range from $175 to $250. They help pay for services that the dogs receive before being adopted. Spay or neuter surgery alone can cost about $400 at a veterinary hospital, officials said.

Creating space in the shelter through adoptions “enables us to extend our care to countless more animals in dire need,” said Dalzell.

She said another way the public can help lighten the shelter’s load is by helping reunite an apparently lost pet with its owner. They can provide the animal with a temporary home, if possible, and take the following steps:

1. Walk the dog around the area in hope of finding its owner. Most dogs don’t wander far from home, officials said.

2. Have the pet scanned for a microchip at your local veterinary clinic.

3. Post online and put up signs to help locate the owners.

4. Call the shelter to give a description of the pet for it to be included in its found-pet records.

More information is at