CANTON — The Cherokee County Animal Shelter is encouraging pet lovers to come in and fetch a new pet as part of the shelter’s free adoption promotion that started this week and ends Aug. 3.
Cherokee Animal Shelter Director Sue Garcia said Thursday that the shelter began its free pet adoption campaign Wednesday and has had such good results that the promotion may be extended.
Garcia said the free adoptions were made possible by the shelter’s “$23.53 Save a Life Campaign,” in which pet lovers who are unable to adopt have been encouraged to give donations to fund free adoptions.
“We get a lot of people that want to help, but say they can’t adopt,” she said of the campaign. “This is a way for them to help save a life without taking another (animal) into their home.”
The “$23.53 Save a Life Campaign” began in March and has caused a considerable uptick in the amount of pets who’ve been adopted, Garcia said.
“Friday and Saturday alone we had 75 adoptions,” Garcia said, adding that the number comes in more than three times the amount of animals the shelter normally sends on their way to new homes on Fridays and Saturdays.
Within the free adoption campaign now under way, Garcia said there is no limit on the amount of pets which can be adopted for free.
“Whatever pets we have, they can come adopt them,” she said.
Although, the word “free” often entices shoppers to bring home things they might not normally, Garcia said the people coming in to take advantage of the free adoptions aren’t just acting on impulse.
“These are still the same kind of adopters, and we have the same return rate,” the director said. “It really works.”
All free adoptions come with all the normal services offered at CCAS, which include spaying or neutering, micro chipping, initial vaccinations, heart worm testing for adult dogs, leukemia testing for adult cats and a free office visit at a participating veterinarian.
Once the current free adoption promotion ends, Garcia said the shelter will still be sending pets out for free as part of its “Paw it Forward” program which asks for adopters to make a donation with their discounted adoption. Proceeds from the program will go to fund further free adoptions, Garcia said.
“We’re doing the Paw it Forward (so) people can adopt and they can donate whatever they want, or they can pay the $23.53, or they can pay full adoption,” Garcia said, adding that the typical cost of an adoption is about $100.
The overall drive to increase adoptions is partly due to the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, a nationwide competition for animal shelters and communities aiming to get more animals adopted or returned to their owners than ever before.
In the ASPCA contest, Garcia said CCAS could win anywhere between $1,000 and $100,000 if enough pets are adopted or if pets adopted from the shelter are chosen in the Pinterest photo contest portion.
To donate to any of the Cherokee County Animal Shelter’s campaigns, pet lovers can stop by the shelter, mail in a check or send money through PayPal on the shelter website at www.cherokee