Animal advocates in Ogden are concerned about the conditions inside the Weber County Animal Shelter after a photo circulating Facebook showed temperatures reaching 89 degrees.
Michelle Holbrook, a volunteer with Hope’s Rescue, said several community members reached out to the rescue after noticing the hot conditions inside the shelter.
"It's been unbearably hot,” Holbrook said. "I've had community members and other rescue members reach out to me saying that they had gone in there to adopt dogs and the temperatures in there were unbearable for them.”
On Monday, a concerned community member took a picture inside the the shelter showing a thermometer next to a dog’s kennel that read 89 degrees and shared the picture on Facebook.
"Maybe a human would like to go sit in that kennel wearing a fur coat and see how long it is 'til they pass out,” Holbrook said.
The Facebook post received several hundred comments and shares. Holbrook brought her concerns about the shelter to the Weber County Sheriff’s, which oversees the facility.
"89 degrees, that's concerning for our animals to be in that temperature for all day long,” Brandon Roundy, Chief Deputy with Weber County Sheriff's Office.
They are still trying to determine if the thermometer reading in the picture is accurate.
"I'm not trying to say that someone's trying to put false information out there... but we would like to find out where was that monitor placed to get that 89 degrees,” he said.
The sheriff’s office brought in property managers to investigate the temperatures for several hours on Monday and Tuesday. They are trying to determine the root of the problem. The shelter has several 'swamp coolers’ to cool the building, but no air conditioning unit.
"We're doing a lot. We just don't want to throw money at it to fix it. Let's identify really what the problem is,” Roundy said.
Property managers went through the building and checked every room with an infa-red laser thermometer. They said they could not find a room that reached 89 degrees as the picture showed.
"It wasn't a hoax. It wasn't done to bring drama. It was something done for the best intentions of the animals,” Holbrook said.
On Tuesday, the Weber County Sheriff’s Office walked 2News through the building to show the reading on the thermometer. The highest reading in a room where animals were being kept was 77 degrees, however, a thermostat on the wall labeled "Dog Adoption" room was at 88 degrees. The sheriff’s office later said that was mislabeled, and was actually the temperature of a back office.
“This morning we came through. I was here last night at 11 o'clock. All the dogs seemed happy. All their buckets were full of water,” Roundy said.
But animal advocates like Holbrook say something needs to be done to ensure the temperatures inside the building are safe for the animals.
"Why isn't there enough money in the budget for the basic necessities that the animals need?” she said.