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How To Help The Shelter Overpopulation Crisis

The Humane Society of North Texas (HSNT) is currently in a crisis capacity. We are filled to the brim with dogs who weigh over 30 pounds. Here is what you can do to help.


Why are shelters at crisis capacity?

Like HSNT, shelters across the nation are ALL feeling extreme pressures from the community that is straining the shelter systems. Cats, dogs, and puppies are filling the shelters, coupled with sad agents of change - large dogs taking up residence in the back of the shelter. They sit and wait as potential adopters stroll past their kennels, cooing over the puppies and bypassing them altogether.


Often, when people visit animal shelters in search of a new furry friend, they have a specific breed in mind. Oftentimes, the pet they want is small - a kitten or teacup-sized puppy that will fit perfectly into their lap (and their lifestyle). But what happens to all the "big" dogs who will likely have a longer stay due to their size?


While some large dogs do get adopted quickly, they typically have to wait much longer than their smaller counterparts before finding their forever homes. Small dogs usually get adopted the same day they become available, while large dogs are often left to languish in shelters while they wait for a forever home. Unfortunately, we are having to make very hard decisions and euthanize for space when there is just no more room for incoming pets.



The sad truth is many of the larger animals are gentle giants who would make loyal, loving pets given a chance. Many large dog owners would say that large dogs can be easier than small dogs to live with and train! So why are they being passed over? Walking into the shelters today, you may quickly feel overwhelmed by the number of large dogs barking and wagging their tails. Sadly, so many large dogs need homes, and not enough people in our community are willing to adopt them.

There are many reasons why animal shelters have so many large dogs. Some have been abandoned, while others have been surrendered by families who can no longer care for them. But whatever the reason, these dogs absolutely deserve a second chance at a happy life. Overall, an epidemic level of unspayed and unneutered pets contributes to the overpopulation of unwanted pets. It is heartbreaking that the decision not to spay or neuter pets are causing such a strain on our community.


What We Do

We make lifesaving efforts in everything we do. ALL pets who come through our doors are given thorough vetting, medical care, microchips, and all age-appropriate vaccinations. Each pet is also spayed/neutered prior to adoption. To save as many lives as possible, we consistently transfer pets by flight or truck to northern states who don’t struggle with pet overpopulation. We host offsite adoption events every weekend and work with rescues and fosters to move pets from our shelters to their care. All of these lifesaving efforts simply aren’t enough to bear the overpopulation of homeless pets in Texas.



What You Can Do To Help Break the Cycle

The next time you're considering adopting a dog, please consider adopting one of the many large dogs waiting in shelters for their forever homes.


If you're considering adopting a new pet, have an open mind and heart to finding the right pet to fit your lifestyle rather than just the breed or looks. Consider going against the grain and opting for a big dog. Not only will you be giving an amazing pet a second chance at life, but you'll also be helping break the cycle of euthanasia at your local shelter.


When you adopt a large dog from a shelter, you are literally saving TWO lives. The life of the dog you adopted and opening a kennel space, allowing a new pet to enter the shelter.

How You Can Help:

ALL shelters are at capacity, and tough decisions are being made across the US. This is a dire time in the animal welfare community. Please. Consider our foster program. Consider adoption. Consider donating to our lifesaving efforts.


Currently, all dogs over six months old and over 30 pounds are FREE to adopt at all HSNT locations (excluding our Hurst Adoption Center).

Trust us - your new best friend will be forever grateful! These dogs deserve love and attention as any other, and they'll be sure to reward you with plenty of kisses and tail wags

HSNT - Pets and People, Saving Each Other®


HSNT’s mission is to act as an advocate on behalf of all animals and to ensure their legal, moral and ethical consideration and protection; to provide for the well-being of animals who are abandoned, injured, neglected, mistreated or otherwise in need; to promote an appreciation of animals; and to instill respect for all living things.

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