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After an animal shelter in Tooele stops taking in surrendered dogs, locals start looking for other options



Tooele, Utah – The overflow pet issue, which prompted contentious modifications to the city shelter, has the Tooele community looking for its answers.

The Tooele City Animal Shelter has been closed to the public for the past two months. Aggressive dogs are primarily housed in the building.

Surrenders are no longer accepted, however, some dogs are still available for adoption by appointment.

“They didn’t help solve the problem whatsoever — they just made a problem that already exists even worse,” said Brian Belden with the Belden Haus K9 dog training business.

The residents of Tooele are currently unsure of what to do with the abandoned pets.

“Now what we’re getting is a huge influx of dogs that are just getting left in the mountains or left on a trail or somebody just opens the door of their house and lets their dog run out,” said Belden.

Belden has heard such desperate justifications that someone even made up the story that someone had died to avoid the fallout from acknowledging they were unable to care for a dog.

“I understand that you get so frustrated that you just want to rehome your dog and take your dog to the shelter, but give me a few minutes of your time,” he said.

To increase the likelihood that pet owners will keep their animals, he and his wife, Mikayla, are also offering in-home visits in addition to drop-off training services.

“Usually one session people are like, ‘Wow, I have a completely different dog already,'” said Mikayla.

The Beldens hope that their actions won’t be one of the many reasons why others give up their animals.

“We’ve had people that are in tears over it. People that just don’t even know what to say because they’re like, ‘This is not even my dog,'” said Mikayla.

“If you have the skill set to make your community a little bit better, I urge you to go ahead and do that,” said Brian.


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