An animal shelter is celebrating a major milestone with all its kennels emptied for the first time in nearly 50 years.
The Adams County SPCA in Pennsylvania announced the historic achievement in a Facebook post last month where they thanked the staff and volunteers for their hard work in helping to rehome hundreds of animals.
In 2023, the shelter reported to have adopted out 586 animals and reunited 125 strays with their owners. They have now reached out to other animal shelters in Pennsylvania that are at full capacity and are pitching in to help them with their rehoming efforts.
The Adams County SPCA is a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing shelter and care for lost, abandoned, and abused animals. Among its many roles include educating the public about spay and neuter programmes and ensuring animal welfare.
“Our community stepped up once again,” read the Facebook post. “This is the first time in 47 years that the Adams County SPCA is empty, let alone at Christmas time. It’s a true miracle!”
The shelter shared a heartwarming photo of its staff and volunteers beaming with smiles in a hallway filled with empty kennels.
Since November 1, the Adams County SPCA has adopted out 94 animals and reunited 26 strays with their families, with not one of them being returned to the shelter.
Below the shelter’s Facebook post, members of the community shared their experiences of coming to adopt their own four-legged friends.
Posting a photo of her pooch, Nancy Hazard said, “I couldn’t have asked for a sweeter boy! We adopted Jack from the SPCA and he has definitely added an element of happiness and love to our house.”
“He’s so cuddly, affectionate, mischievous, and intelligent. We love him dearly and he’s three times the weight he was the day we brought him home a few days before thanksgiving. I call him my little red guy!”
Tonya Hays, Adams County SPCA kennel technician, said that in the last two weeks of 2023, the shelter managed to help between 15-20 furry friends find their forever homes.
“We had to get all of them spayed and neutered, vaccinated, and tested for heartworms and tick-borne illness while also processing a lot of adoption applications, so the staff worked really hard,” Ms Hays said. “It was pretty cool. It was quite a feat.”
In a follow-up post published on Boxing Day, the Adams County SPCA said that they had “received an overwhelming response” from shelters across the US, as well as in Canada and Mexico, with members of the public requesting support from the shelter to help rehome their animals.
“Even though our hearts break for them and the situation they’re in, we need to help our community members first,” the shelter said.
“We’re going to do the best we can to help as many animals and people as we can. Please be patient with us during this very busy time. Again, we thank you so much for your support.”
The ASPCA estimates that approximately 6.3 million animals enter US shelters each year and approximately 4.1 million animals are adopted each year.
To keep their followers up to date about how the animals are settling into their new homes, the Adams County SPCA regularly shares “happy tails” sent in by owners who have recently adopted an animal from the shelter.
A day before Christmas Eve, the Adams County SPCA shared a story about a cat named Bootsie who was adopted by a family in November 2023.
“All of our children adore him but he has been the biggest game changer for my four-year-old autistic daughter,” the update read.
“Hope cuddles Bootsie when she’s upset instead of having full-blown meltdowns and she practises her verbal expressions of compassion, love, and affection. Thank you so much for all you do!”
In another happy tail, a dog named Buttons was pictured sleeping soundly alongside his sister, the pair dressed in festive sweaters to stay warm this winter.
“Sending a very merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a happy new year to the great animal advocates at Adams County SPCA, from Buttons (aka Scooby) and his sister Cutie Pie.”
Click here to find out how you can support the Adams County SPCA.
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