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'We are out of space': North Texas shelter asking for help before euthanizing dogs

The Rowlett Animal Shelter is "code red" for the first time in a year.

ROWLETT, Texas — For the first time in one year, the Rowlett Animal Shelter is on "code red."

“Code red means we are out of space,” said Asher Moore, the Animal Services Supervisor for the City of Rowlett. “We unfortunately have to make a list of dogs to possibly euthanize to make space.”

It’s been a while since the Rowlett Animal Shelter has been in this position.

“The last time we had to euthanize for space was in January of 2014,” Moore said.

Each year, 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). That’s roughly 670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats.

In an effort to create space, staff in Rowlett are reaching out to rescue groups across the area.

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Nora Huizenga works for SPIN, a special rescue group for Great Pyrenees. She picked up a Great Pyrenees at the Rowlett Animal Shelter Tuesday.

“They’re just lovers and they’re the sweetest dogs,” Huizenga said. “But you have to know what you’re getting in for.”

The ASPCA said "pet problems" are the most common reason owners give up a pet, accounting for 47% of re-homed dogs and 42% of re-homed cats. "Pet problems" include aggressive behaviors, unexpected growth, or health problems owner couldn’t handle. 

“It’s an ongoing issue as far as unwanted pets just being let out, getting out and not being reclaimed, or even dumped," Moore said. 

Moore says they do tend to see adoption rates fall this time of year, but he can't explain why there's been a recent influx of dogs.

"As of yesterday, we had four dogs come in," Moore said.

The Rowlett Animal Shelter is asking for the public to consider adopting. They are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Adoption fees have been reduced to $25.

The shelter has not set a deadline on when they’ll make to the decision to begin euthanizing.