WINONA, Minn. (WKBT) - This time of year especially, animal shelters fill up, and many in the southern U.S. are forced to euthanize some animals. There are local efforts, however, to help.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 1.5 million dogs and cats are put down every year because shelters are overcrowded.
The Coulee Region Humane Society and the Winona Area Humane Society have no-kill policies. Many shelters in southern states such as Texas, however, are overrun with dogs and have no choice but to put them down.
"Most in the south, it's euthanasia. It is in a lot of shelters, because there isn't room for dogs,” said Susie Marshall, dog director at the Winona Area Humane Society. “They're unwanted. They're left on the street."
For the first time Friday, the Winona Area Humane Society welcomed in five out-of-state rescue dogs – two of which were soon to be euthanized at a shelter.
“They’re wonderful dogs,” Ashley Potter, who works at the humane society, said.
The shelter is usually full of local dogs, but it just happened to have all five kennels open, making room for these out-of-staters.
The five pups –Ebony, Razzmatazz, Magenta, Cobalt and Boon -- have come a long way. Denison Animal Welfare Group and Shiloh’s Road to Hope transferred the dogs from down south, and they arrived at the Winona Area Humane Society in the early hours of the morning.
“A wonderful delivery from Texas,” Marshall said.
At the shelter, the dogs know pets, play and love, blissfully unaware that earlier this week, they were in danger of being put down. Now they’re soon to be put up for adoption.
"It feels fantastic,” Potter said. “You have such a wonderful feeling, knowing you're going to find these dogs wonderful homes. They're going to love life."
The same group dropped off six Texas dogs at the Coulee Region Humane Society as well. The shelter already works with various groups to take in out-of-state rescues.
Kennel manager Amber Grosch said the shelter has already taken in 50 transfers so far this year.
"Knowing if we could even help just three dogs to not be humanely euthanized, it's awesome,” Grosch.
In Minnesota, Texas-born Ebony, Razzmatazz, Magenta, Cobalt and Boon have a new shot at life.
"It's exciting,” Marshall said.
"They play well, they love people, none are aggressive and they are all are friendly,” Potter said. “I assume once they go up for adoption, they'll all pretty much be gone."
The dogs will be up for adoption by June 23.
Marshall said the Winona Area Humane Society will continue working with the Texas group to bring in rescue dogs in danger of euthanasia if they have the space.
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