It’s a rescuer’s dream – a shelter completely empty of adoptable dogs. Not because they were kidnapped or because they fell into a black hole, but because every last one of them was adopted.
On November the 7th, the Summit County Animal Control shelter held an adoptathon to coincide with a national “Clear the Shelter” event, and dear sweet lord, did it work. Over 100 animals were adopted over the course of the day, and potential adopters started lining up – some with lawn chairs! – as early as 6:30 in the morning. While there were technically still a few dogs on stray hold after the event, the adoption floor itself was completely emptied.
It was really a collaborative effort between amazing staff and volunteers. To ensure [the event’s] success, many deeply involved volunteers – there’s a hospital nearby and we have several nurses who are, in my words, true rescue warriors – worked with potential adopters & animals the week prior to help ensure good matches were made. We also had nine adoptions the week before which happened because those adopters didn’t want to miss out on “their” dog and several were transferred to local rescues.
Adoption fees were drastically reduced on the day of. All dogs and cats were fully vetted prior to the event, including spays and neuters. To avoid attracting potentially dangerous adopters, the Friends of Summit County Animal Control Facebook page decided not to promote the adoptathon too much, but posters for the event were distributed throughout the community. And on top of all that, an anonymous elderly couple made a donation to the shelter to sponsor the first 50 adopted pets.
Though some dogs may eventually end up back at the shelter – around 10% of dogs nationwide usually do – it’s still a fantastic feel-good story for a world where wonderful animals can languish in shelters for months, years, and sometimes until the end of their days.
Below is a video of the shelter a few days ago:
No barking, no whining, just silence. It’s the best sound in the world, and it sort of reminds me of that one Depeche Mode song:
All I ever wanted
All I ever needed
In my arms
Words are very
They can only do harm
Enjoy the silence
I like to think that the “thing” in lead singer Dave Gahan’s arms was a dog.