Animal shelter celebrates after all pets adopted for first time in nearly 50 years

An animal shelter recently celebrated all their pets being adopted for the first time in nearly 50 years.

A Pennsylvania animal shelter called the Adams County SPCA had their kennels fully emptied for the first time in 47 years, according to a Facebook post from the organisation. In the post, the organisation said all of its animals have been adopted and strays have found their forever homes, a feat they called “a true miracle”.

“Today is a great day for the Adams County SPCA!” they began. “Two weeks ago our kennels were almost filled, now we don’t have any dogs in the building at all (we have one cat that came in as a stray a little bit ago)!! Our community stepped up once again! This is the first time in 47 YEARS that the Adams County SPCA is empty let alone at Christmas time, it is a true miracle!”

They added that they were over the moon with the amount of animals that were adopted this holiday season, and gave their hard-working staff and volunteers a well-deserved shoutout. The organisation shared a photo of its employees standing in a hallway with empty kennels, all wearing proud smiles on their faces.

“To say that we are beyond excited is an understatement!” they wrote. “The staff and volunteers have worked VERY hard to take care of the animals in our care and to make sure they got adopted to the right home! This year we have adopted out 598 animals and reunited 125 strays with their owners! WOW! It has been a busy year! We thank everyone for their continued support and look forward to new adventures in 2024!”

The SPCA wrote that they had plans in the next week to relieve other “overwhelmed” Pennsylvania shelters of some of their animals in hopes of finding them some homes. The organisation said: “Right now, we are going to enjoy this accomplishment! Merry Christmas!”

Almost two weeks ago, the shelter’s kennels were full, but as of now, there are no remaining dogs and one stray cat, according to the animal shelter. Kennel technician Tonya Hays explained to Today that in the past two weeks, the shelter was able to move between 15 and 20 animals, both adoptions and strays returned to owners.

“We had to get all them spayed and neutered, vaccinated, and tested for heart worms and tick-borne illness while also processing a lot of [adoption] applications, so the staff worked really hard,” Hays told the outlet. “It was pretty cool. It was quite a feat.”

Since 1 November, the shelter facilitated the adoptions of 94 animals and returned 26 strays to their owners, while shelter officials proudly confirmed to the outlet that no animal has been returned.

Many of those who adopted pets from the shelter flooded the post’s comment section with photos of their furry friends, both pooches and felines alike. The shelter also shared stories from new owners – or “happy tails” – including one heartwarming story about an orange tabby cat named Bootsie, who was recently adopted.

“All of our children adore him but he has been the biggest game changer for my four-year-old autistic daughter,” the owner wrote to the shelter. “Hope cuddles Bootsie when she’s upset instead of having full blown meltdowns, cuddles him and practices her verbal expressions of compassion, love and affection. Thank you so much for all you do!”

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), 6.3m animals enter shelters every year – an almost equal amount of cats and dogs – but only 4.1m of them are adopted. The organisation added that 920,000 shelter animals are euthanised each year, with the majority of them being cats. Meanwhile, 810,000 stray animals are returned to their owners, consisting of an estimated 710,000 dogs and 100,000 cats per year.

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