Hundreds attended the ‘Clear the Shelters’ event on Aug. 17 at the Pasco County Animal Services complex, 19640 Dogpatch Lane in Land O’ Lakes.
The event, launched five years ago by the television media company NBC Universal, is a national pet adoption drive that aims to find forever homes for thousands of animals in need.
Participating shelters nationwide either reduced or waived pet adoption fees.
The Land O’ Lakes shelter, waived its fees for the third year in a row. The only requirement was the purchase of the appropriate licensing for the new adoption.
Normally, adoption fees run $70 to $85 for dogs and $40 to $50 for cats. The fees include spay/neutering, vaccinations, microchip, heartworm testing for dogs, FIV and feline leukemia for cats.
Spencer Conover, the assistant director for Pasco County Animal Services estimated that around 500 people would attend the event, looking for a new companion.
In just the first two hours of the event, 13 dogs and 7 cats were officially adopted.
By the time the event wrapped up, there were 41 adoptions and 37 pending adoptions, according to Animal Services’ Facebook page.
Leading up to the event, veterinarians, staff and volunteers worked diligently to make sure that many of the 254 available animals were ready to go to their new homes on the same day of their adoptions.
Those that had not underwent the necessary spay/neuter or microchip procedure, will be placed on a short adoption hold (typically less than a week), until the requirements are met.
Strays, whether they are runaways or abandoned, make up the largest population of animals in the shelter.
Conover said the biggest challenge lies in the lack of microchipping, which is crucial in helping lost pets find their way home.
A very low percentage of the pets they see have been microchipped, he said.
Animals they adopt out are microchipped.
For more about ‘Clear the Shelters,’ visit ClearTheShelters.com.
Published August 28, 2019