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Animal Foundation to hold Empty the Shelters event

Updated July 9, 2020 - 11:39 am

In the market for a furry family addition? The Animal Foundation is participating in the upcoming Empty the Shelters event with waived adoption fees for cats and dogs 6 months and older.

From Friday through Sunday, the local shelter will be among 160 shelters nationwide taking part in the event sponsored by the BISSELL Pet Foundation.

Animals under 6 months are not included in the promotion but will be available. A $10 licensing fee may apply to any adoption.

All animals included in the Empty the Shelters event will be microchipped and spayed/neutered to prevent further pet homelessness.

The Empty the Shelters event will be by appointment only to adhere to COVID-19 regulations. Adoptions manager Brenda Arceo recommends that people looking to adopt check the shelter’s website to find the animal they are interested in before making an appointment.

Phones open at 9 a.m. to begin scheduling the day’s appointments for pet meet-and-greets from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the shelter, 655 N. Mojave Road.

The 30-minute meet-and-greets at the shelter are with one specific animal at a time and can be made the day of the event. “People that live in the home should come to meet the animal and make a family decision,” Arceo said.

Masks are required, and it’s recommended that people who are not part of the household do not come along, in order to minimize exposure to staff and other visitors.

The shelter offers a foster-to-adopt program to adequately pair the pet to the home. This allows a two-week trial adoption for people who may not be entirely confident about adopting.

During the July Fourth weekend, the busiest of the year, the shelter took in 287 runaway pets, and so far, over 40 have been reunited with their owners. Arceo said only 22 percent of lost pets were claimed last year. After 72 hours and multiple attempts to reach the owner, lost pets become eligible to be readopted.

“If they have a microchip, we’re going to make three attempts to call the owner. Sometimes it can take longer than the 72 hours to give them a chance,” spokeswoman Kelsey Pizzi said. “Because we do want to reunite them, it just doesn’t always happen.”

The organization accepts monetary donations to care for the animals’ needs from food to surgeries. Its 2020 goal is to reach zero euthanasia for healthy and treatable animals at the shelter.

Since Empty the Shelters began in 2016, more than 37,000 pets have been adopted nationwide. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, two nationwide Empty the Shelter events have resulted in the adoption of 6,231 pets.

Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the number of runaway pets the shelter took in during the July Fourth weekend.

Contact Jannelle Calderon at jcalderon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @NewsyJan on Twitter.

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