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Mat-Su

Mat-Su animal shelter temporarily stops taking owner-surrendered animals

PALMER — The Mat-Su animal shelter said this week it will not accept owner-surrendered animals due to a staffing shortage and a high number of animals coming in.

The area’s population is growing — as is the number of pets — but the staffing level at the borough shelter is not, officials say. Spring is also a busy time at the facility, especially for cats.

The shelter was full of dogs and kittens as of Tuesday, animal control officer Matt Hardwig said.

Only animals being surrendered out of “medical necessity” will be taken, the shelter said in an update Monday. Staff will use a wait list so pet owners can be notified if space opens up.

“We will still accept all stray pets,” the update says. “We will do our best to keep everything updated, and we always welcome phone calls for those with extenuating circumstances or questions. We apologize for the inconvenience but our resources are limited.”

Officials say the shelter is developing a new intake program and the new policy is temporary. They recommend pet owners reach out to rescue groups in the interim.

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