The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

101 adoptions

ECHS is currently 300% over capacity
Photo Courtesy of ECHS, long term resident, Thanos

On Aug. 28, 2023, the Erath County Humane Society (ECHS) posted on both Instagram and Facebook in dire need of help. 

The ECHS is an independent non-profit corporation. They are also a low-kill shelter, meaning that they only euthanize highly aggressive or sick animals. Although this is how this shelter has run since its creation in 1976, their recent post explains that these ground rules may have to change. 

“We are considered a no-kill shelter which means that we DO NOT euthanize for space or length of stay at our shelter, We DO euthanize if a dog is people aggressive or an animal is sick or injured and we can do nothing to save it,” the ECHS Instagram post states. “Erath County Humane Society is at 300% capacity. We have no where else for animals to go. We are using wire crates for the overflow. This is not an ideal situation as I’m sure you all know.”

This shelter is beginning to fall hopeless. They work everyday for these animals, but when there is an endless amount of them, one can lose track of where to start.

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“Shelters in the metroplex are euthanizing on a daily basis. Sometimes 20-40 a day. They do not do it because they want to, they do it because they have no other choice when they are getting in 100+ animals a day,” the post continues. “We DO have a choice, because we are a privately owned shelter. However, with the numbers we have at this time, and the ones that continue to come in, we will have NO choice for much longer.”

The ECHS is made to house 44 animals. That being 18 cats and 26 dogs. The shelter is currently holding 101 more animals than it is supposed to. 

As of now, we have 145 animals total. We have 68 cats and 77 dogs,” Serena Wright, Executive Director of ECHS, stated. “We have 50 cats and 51 dogs more than we are supposed to have.”

This shelter has never had to euthanize for these reasons before. Spacing may be an issue every now and then, but euthanizing due to the issue has never been this extreme. 

“We have never had to euthanize strictly for sake of space. We’ve only ever had to euthanize animals that were aggressive and posed a safety risk to those who work here, or animals who were too sick and injured to humanely save,” Wright explained.    

With the ECHS being so over capacity, financials are beginning to become an issue. While the people of Erath County volunteer and donate, they can only give so much before they have given everything that they can. 

“Financially, we have been having to provide far more food, vaccinations, medication, and vaccinations for resident animals which puts a severe strain on our already tightly budgeted funds,” Wright says.

Not only does an event like this affect financials, it affects the workers who are working tirelessly for these animals. Working day in and day out and being forced to give three times the amount of energy and muscle that is usually asked of you can be daunting.

“Being in an overflow affects the workers both physically and mentally. Our girls are wearing themselves out physically trying to handle more dogs than they can. We are here for about four  hours every morning scrubbing kennels, washing dishes, feeding dogs, doing laundry, and overall maintaining general cleanliness of our facility. The cleaning routine is rigorous,” Wright explains. “Then in the afternoon, we are here from 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. to answer phone calls, clean again, feed dogs, stock shelves, help the public with whatever questions they have, and it can all be incredibly overwhelming, this line of work is not for the faint of heart. Being over capacity means our animals only get to experience mere minutes of human interaction a day which causes them to break down mentally. Our workers are all mentally and physically drained and more and more is being asked of them every day.” 

The animals of course are another main subject of this matter. Being forced to live in kennels that are piled on top of one another, less human interaction, and more illness are just some of the many things that these dogs are going through. 

“The overflow of animals is a breeding ground for illnesses such as parvo, panleukopenia, coccidia, and things like ringworm and intestinal parasites. We also cannot help the community like they deserve to be helped which causes friction between us and the public. We are doing all that we possibly can with the resources we have at our disposal. Being over capacity means that animals spend almost the entire day in crates without being interacted with, which in turn causes behavioral issues that turn adopters away. When we are over capacity, it negatively affects almost everything we try to do,” Wright says. 

If you are looking for a new furry friend, please consider ECHS. They are looking for people to adopt, foster, volunteer, or donate if that is all that you can provide. This shelter is working non-stop to provide for these animals and find them homes, if you or someone you know is looking, point them their way.

Our best advice would be to RESEARCH before they get a pet. People do not seem to realize that animals require so much work and will need training, socialization, play time, boundaries,  proper food, vet care, and it can cost a lot to get started. We highly recommend that people research what breeds would work within their environment and lifestyle as well. We always recommend adopting instead of shopping as well since there are so many animals needing good homes in animal shelters,” Wright concluded. 

The ECHS also allows you to take their dogs on walks. If you feel like helping out an animal in need of human interaction, go pick one up for your daily walk at the park. 


For more information regarding the Erath County Humane Society and their available animals, go to  

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Ashton Cox
Ashton Cox, Editor-in-Chief

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