Heber Valley Animal Shelter no longer accepts owner-abandoned pets


The Heber Valley Animal Shelter is a no-kill shelter serving Wasatch County. Earlier this month, the shelter said it would no longer accept buyouts from owners. The shelter says the county’s rapid population growth and limited space necessitated the new policy.

According to a report by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, nearly one in five households took in a dog or cat in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the return to in-person work and the rising cost of living, some of these households are unable to care for the animals they have adopted.

Kendall Crittenden is a member of Wasatch County Council. He said the animal shelter had been overwhelmed with pets abandoned by their owners.

“So they just want to take it to animal services and throw it away and let the rest of the citizens of the county take care of their pet through the taxes that go to animal services. So that was the situation, they are basically full. They have no more room for other abandoned animals.

Crittenden said there were a few exceptions to the new policy. These include situations where an owner dies and family members cannot care for a pet, emergency medical issues affecting pet owners, or owners who lose their home .

The shelter currently has many cats and dogs for adoption. It is located at 635 W. Airport Road in Heber City.

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Jennifer R. Strohm