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Bedford County Animal Shelter issues 'code red' due to overcrowding

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – It's called 'code red.' It means the Bedford County Animal Shelter is full, at the highest level it's been at in three years. It also means the time for euthanizing animals is not far away. 

"This is the first and most urgent time that we've had so far. If animals aren't adopted, there would be no choice but euthanasia," said Stacy Epperson, president of the Friends of Bedford County Animal Shelter.

The shelter is doing everything it can to clear kennels, but it's been a battle. 

"We've been sending them to volunteers' homes and boarding them at Riverside Veterinary Hospital just to make room so they don't have to euthanize at the shelter," said Epperson. 

Staff said the shelter is having crowded because it has taken in a lot of dogs from court cases and a lot of strays.

"If they're strays or court cases, they have to be here so we have to be open to them. The adoptable animals and the 'owner sign over' animals are the ones that suffer the consequences," said Jackie Miller, senior shelter operator at Bedford County Animal Shelter.

The shelter is pleading with anyone serious about adopting to stop by and save a life.

"Just wonderful dogs with wonderful personalities that deserve a second chance," said Epperson. 

"Not just to come out and adopt an animal to save a life, but to have a partner," said Miller.

To learn more about the shelter and how you can adopt an animal, click here.