CASA GRANDE, AZ - The plan was simple: not a single healthy animal at the Pinal County Animal Care and Control to be euthanized during "No-Kill December."
For director Kaye Dickson and her staff, it was a test run for a much bigger plan.
"We have a five-year plan to become a no-kill shelter. So I asked if they would be willing to do a no-kill December to see just to see what some of those struggles would be," says Dickson.
The struggle now is pretty obvious: kennel after kennel, aisle after aisle, overflowing with dogs and cats.
We made it to today, made it too yesterday. Yesterday when I left the shelter, the count was over 368," says Dickson. "We're packed."
368 dogs and cats, in a shelter that normally houses about 250.
"If anymore dogs come in tonight, or cats, at this point I'm not sure where I'm going to put them," says Dickson.
A shelter that euthanized less than 900 animals the entire year is now facing a horrible dilemma.
"We're looking at an excess of 50, minimum. We are having to euthanize normal, healthy animals, that could be adopted, because of lack of space," says Dickson.
Dickson believes these pets deserve to be more than just another name on a euthanasia list.
"We need to get past that as Americans. We shouldn't be doing this anymore."
If you want to help out one of these dogs and cats, you can visit the Pinal County Animal Care and Control during their special extended hours.
They will be open this Friday from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.