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Tacoma animal shelter overwhelmed after taking in dogs from fighting ring

The Tacoma Humane Society is urging people to adopt dogs to free up space at the shelter, weeks after an alleged dog fighting bust.

TACOMA, Wash. — The Humane Society of Tacoma-Pierce County is at capacity after Pierce County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man on suspicion of animal fighting and he turned 37 of his dogs over to the shelter.

“We have now over 140 dogs in the whole shelter,” said Humane Society CEO Stuart Earley. “So we really need people’s help. If they can come and adopt a dog, that would be fantastic.”

Currently, the confiscated dogs involved in the dogfighting case are not available for adoption. The owner of the dogs, Elmer Givens, Jr., was released from jail and has not been charged with a crime. He is now petitioning the court to have the dogs turned back over to him.

RELATED: Pierce County man suspected of running pit bull fighting ring sues to get dogs back

In the meantime, the Tacoma Humane Society is caring for the dogs.

“These 37 pit bulls have come to us in a fairly undernourished state and they were destined to be fighting dogs,” said Earley. “They’re taking up 37 kennels.”

Earley said there are dozens of other dogs available for adoption that have equally heartbreaking backstories. He said the shelter does not turn away dogs or euthanize them to create space.

To encourage adoption, the Tacoma Humane Society is running a campaign called “Be Their Hero,” which offers a $25 discount on adoptions through the month of January.

Earley said the Humane Society is also interested in talking to people living in Tacoma or Pierce County who do not currently have pets but would be interested in fostering a dog.