OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma City Animal Welfare is in crisis mode, taking in 114 animals yesterday alone.

They currently are over capacity with more than 400 dogs and more than 130 cats in their facility.

“We’re in a bad, bad situation where this morning, we had 413 dogs,” said Animal Welfare Superintendent Jon Gary. “It’s literally life or death when we hit that 400 number. That’s when it becomes critical when and frankly, animals are euthanized just because we don’t have space for the ones coming in.”

Gary and his staff are facing an impossible situation.

Their facility is currently at 131% capacity, taking in 114 animals Thursday alone.

Puppy at OKC Animal Welfare

No matter what they do, space is getting harder to find.

“Any time an animal has to die just because we want a space to keep it, it’s a very difficult thing,” Gary said.

He wants the public to know that if they find an animal, animal welfare shouldn’t always be the first option.

“Only about 20% of dogs that come in here and only about 1% of the cats get reclaimed by their owners,” Gary said. 

He says that’s why the first place you should head is online.

“Check the social media sites, these, the NextDoor apps, all of those things where people might be posting for lost pets,” Gary said. 

Cats at Oklahoma City Animal Welfare

You can also take the pet to the vet to check for a microchip.

Additionally, animal welfare’s website is updated once an hour, so that’s a good place to look for your pet if you can’t make it in person because for many, it can be a drive.

The shelter is located on the outskirts of Oklahoma City, a city that already covers a lot of ground.

“People that lose pets way up northwest or even far southwest, they don’t realize that their animal, if it gets picked up by either an officer or someone you know, a citizen in the in the public, that it’s going to be 30 minutes away from where they live,” said Gary. 

Animal welfare hopes to be able to host another free adoption event soon.

A new shelter is in the works through MAPS, but it’s not due to be completed until 2026.