CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

With animal shelter at full capacity, Tooele City Police take back command

Dec 15, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: May 30, 2024, 9:28 am

tooele police car - police had to take over the tooele animal shelter...

FILE: A Tooele police vehicle is pictured in Tooele on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. (Steve Griffin/Deseret News.)

(Steve Griffin/Deseret News.)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Tooele City Animal Shelter is no longer in the business of animal adoption or pet rescue because the shelter was running out of space for aggressive animals to be detained.

“[Beginning] December 12, 2023, the Tooele City Animal Shelter will exclusively accept animal intake through authorized channels, such as animal control officers and police officers,” said the shelter in a Facebook post.

Lt. Jeremy Hansen of the Tooele City Police Department, who is also the department’s public information officer, joined Dave and Dujanovic to talk about the city’s move and the reasons behind it.

“Yeah, so the animal shelter used to be under the police department up until about a year… maybe two years. And it was under the direction of the assistant [police] chief,” Hansen said.

After that, the shelter was under the direction of the Parks and Recreation Department.

But as of Tuesday, he said, the shelter is now under his command. 

Animal shelter full

The shelter had been at maximum capacity for a “substantial amount of time,” and public safety was being compromised as a result, he said.

“It was to the point where the animal-control officers would be investigating a dog bite or an animal attack, and we didn’t have anywhere to take that animal because the shelter was full,” Hansen said. “We have to have somewhere to take these aggressive animals. Public safety has to be our number one priority.”

The city is still working with rescue organizations, the Golden Bone Inn in Tooele and Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab to assist in animal placement, he said.

The main objective, Hansen added, is to strike a three-way balance between public safety, the demand on the shelter and the employees who care for the shelter animals.

The city shelter was turning away pet owners who lived outside the city trying to surrender an animal.

“We tell them, ‘We can only accept city animals’ and so they give it to their family member who lives in the city [who] then surrenders it,” Hansen said.

The city shelter can’t handle a county-wide problem, he added.

City Mayor Debbie Winn has met with other leaders of government agencies in the Tooele Valley to discuss the need for a regional animal shelter, but “those talks failed,” Hansen said.

How much space does the animal shelter have left?

Only 20 dog kennel spaces remain at the city shelter, Hansen said.

“Then there’s, I believe, four quarantine kennels, so that’s not a lot of room.”

The focus for now is using the shelter space for aggressive animals.

“We’re still gonna be taking those types of surrenders. We’re trying to take the aggressive animals and the animals that are prone to attack,” Hansen said. “And then we’re hoping the rescue groups can help alleviate some of the overpopulation in our shelter.”

Related: Weber animal shelter to euthanize dogs, makes plea to adopt amid overcrowding

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Crime, Police + Courts

An SLCPD car with its lights on. (Salt Lake City Police Department)...

Carlysle Price, KSL TV

SLCPD arrest fugitive shooting suspect

On Friday, the Salt Lake City Police Department has arrested the suspect of a shooting that occurred in February.

12 hours ago

A Clearfield shooting has left one 18-year-old injured and in the hospital....

Kennedy Camarena

Clearfield shooting leaves 18-year-old hospitalized

An 18-year-old male was injured and hospitalized after being shot twice in Clearfield, Utah on Saturday night.

1 day ago

Officials urge parents to follow Utah's regulations on the use of e-bikes, scooters and ATVs....

Carlysle Price, KSL TV

Officials urge parents to follow e-bike regulations

Police are reminding the public on regulations issued around e-bikes due to concerns surrounding kids with e-bikes, ATV's and golf carts.

1 day ago

Jorge Rafael Medina-Reyes pleaded guilty on Thursday to the kidnapping and murder of Nicole Solorio...

Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com

Second man pleads guilty to kidnapping, murder of Kearns woman in 2021

Jorge Rafael Medina-Reyes, 25, pleaded guilty Thursday to murder, a first-degree felony, and aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony.

2 days ago

american fork police in front of home where couple was found dead...

Sam Herrera

Couple found dead in American Fork home identified

American Fork Police identified 57-year-old Olin Johnson and his wife, 52-year-old Kerilyn Johnson, as the couple found dead in their home on Thursday.

2 days ago

washington city murders suspect...

Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Southern Utah woman charged with aggravated murder; prosecutors won’t seek death penalty

A 28-year-old woman accused of brutally killing her parents in their home is now facing 11 felony charges, including 10 first-degree felonies.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

With animal shelter at full capacity, Tooele City Police take back command