Some with cat whiskers etched on their faces, others enjoying a cool sno-cone in the heat, the community came out for Clear the Shelters Day to bring some new family members home with them. One of the lucky pups adopted was Sally.
Her son saw Sally and he instantly fell in love with the dog in need, resident Chris Lonas said.
“He has been wanting another puppy and this was a good opportunity to look at what was available,” she said.
Clear the Shelters is a national event promoted by NBC and Telemundo stations, according to an event fact sheet, and has helped more than a quarter-million pets of all types find new homes. Adoption fees were waived and hours were extended Saturday at the SPCA of Brazoria County animal shelter and The Mad Cattery Adoption and Event Center, both in Lake Jackson.
The SPCA of Brazoria County in previous years adopted out about 50 animals on Clear the Shelters Day, but this year was particularly rewarding, with about 96 animals adopted as of Saturday afternoon, SPCA Board President Brandei Goolsby said.
“It has been amazing,” she said. “The past few years we have done 50 adoptions and we have already surpassed that today. There was a line out the door before we even opened.”
With about 137 dogs and 287 cats at the shelter Thursday, she is grateful residents came out to find animals new homes this weekend, Goolsby said.
“Just seeing the smiles and the excitement on the families’ faces and the kids is just so heartwarming,” she said. “They are finding their forever family member. It is just such an amazing feeling.”
With animals already neutered or spayed, up to date on vaccinations and microchipped, there was no better time to adopt than this weekend, Goolsby said.
The public does not realize how helpful Clear the Shelters Day is to combat overcrowding, SPCA board member Beate Damm said.
“It is actually a big deal for us,” she said. “To us, Clear the Shelters gives us an opportunity to reset the numbers. People across the whole United States are adopting out today, so that makes it special.”
Attendees who were not in a position to adopt Saturday were welcome to stop by and give donations, with items such as wet cat and kitten food, paper towels, bags of Purina Kitten Chow, non-clumping clay litter, plastic kiddie pools and hand sanitizer being dropped off.
While she was happy to find a new pet for her son, she also appreciated residents doing their part to help animals in need, Lonas said.
“The most important part about an event like this is making sure animals have a safe home and are not cooped up,” she said.