Mercer County Animal Shelter goes under Code Red Tuesday

Aug. 30—PRINCETON — People at the Mercer County Animal Shelter are once again facing the idea of deciding which of the homeless dogs and cats there have to be euthanized so room can be made for more.

The shelter's personnel announced Tuesday that the facility was once again on Code Red, meaning that it had reached to point where it was going overcapacity and making euthanasia a possibility.

"Well, I just did a count," Director Stacey Harman said. "We have 95 dogs and cats, I'm going to estimate close to 50."

Last July, the shelter had to declare a Code Red situation. Adoption rates were reduced, and the enough dogs and cats found new homes to cancel the need for euthanasia. Unfortunately, the number of homeless pets arriving at the shelter did not let up.

"As soon as we emptied, within about two weeks we were full," Harman recalled, adding that strays, neglected dogs and cats brought in by animal control officers, and other sources helped to fill the facility.

"It's just an ever-revolving door," she said.

"Normally, I don't do it until I have to put dogs in crates in the hallways, and now I have five dogs in the hallways," Harman said about Code Red.

Rates have been greatly reduced in order to encourage more adoptions. The dog adoption fee is normally $140 and $85 for cats. These fees include spay/neuter, the pain shot, first vaccinations, a rabies vaccination and deworming, Harman said.

For the rest of the week, the fee is $10 for dogs, puppies, cats and kittens; and the fees still include the spay/neuter and other benefits, Harman said.

"Well, I'm hoping with the reduction of the rates, that will get the community out and I wouldn't ever have to euthanize," she stated. "I always try to lower fees first."

The Mercer County Animal Shelter is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The shelter can be contacted at 304-425-2838.

— Contact Greg Jordan at

Contact Greg Jordan at