Mercer County Animal Shelter in Code Red

Jan. 18—PRINCETON — Mercer County Animal Shelter (MCAS) called a Code Red last week due to reaching above the maximum capacity they have for dogs in the shelter.

"I don't have not one run open or age, and in fact, I'm having to put them in offices and crates in other room and will eventually have to starting moving the crates into the hallway," said Stacey Harman, MCAS executive director. "At this point, I absolutely cannot take any more dogs until someone comes and they are adopted.

Harman said that they have been teetering on the red status throughout all of 2022 and into this year.

"Usually we have a kitten and puppy season in the spring, but it did not come and has been nonstop all year. I've even had two dogs in there give birth," she said.

Harman said she is not fully sure what is causing the massive influx of animals coming into the shelter, but she has a couple ideas that may be contributors.

"I've noticed a lot of people saying they cant afford to take care of them," she said. "People are also having a lot of trouble getting animals in to get them spayed and neutered, including us."

The vet MCAS partners with to get their animals fixed is currently booked into July.

"It's never ending, and you have from January to July, which that's plenty of time for an animal to get pregnant," said Harman.

She added, "Until we can get these animals spayed and neutered, it's going to continue."

Harman said they have not had to euthanize any animals yet, but it is a high possibility of that with the current intake trend they are seeing at the shelter.

They are still having people come in trying to give them animals.

"We're putting them on a managed intake list and trying to to get them to hold them, but if they refuse, then I have to take them," Harman said.

Harman also said that she is doing everything in her power to prevent euthanizing.

"I've marked down all of my dogs to $25, so hopefully people will come out and adopt," she said.

Harman has also been working to find other rescues to send dogs out to and other alternative in order to spare the animals.

"I do have a rescue leaving on Sunday, she's taking about 15 dogs, so that will help some," she said. "I also have animal control that is looking at a case right now, so as soon as those leave, I'll have more come in."

While Harman and her team are working hard to make sure they don't have to euthanize, they want people to know they won't start doing it without warning.

"I'm really hoping we don't have to put any animals down, and i will try my best to prevent that at all means necessary; but if I do, I will give the public a few days notice," Harman said.

Harman said that she continuously hopes that the intake slows soon, but she said that she doesn't see an end in the foreseeable future right now.

For more information on MCAS, visit their Facebook page or contact them at (304) 425-2838.

— Contact Kassidy Brown at