Pennsylvania SPCA has Empty Kennels for First Time in Nearly 50 Years

Hundreds of pets found their furever families!

Empty kennels at the shelter.

(Courtesy Adams County SPCA)

Animal shelters are usually pretty noisy with lots of barking dogs and meowing cats, but the Adams County, Pennsylvania SPCA is extremely quiet and that’s really good news. That’s because all of the pets in the shelter were adopted or returned to their owners just before Christmas.

For the first time in nearly 50 years, the kennels are empty, according to TODAY. It’s difficult to believe that just two weeks earlier the shelter was at near capacity with pets who needed homes.

“To say that we are beyond excited is an understatement!  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!” shelter staff said in a Facebook post on December 22, 2023. “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!

All the animals had to be spayed or neutered and tested for heartworms before they were rehomed, reported TODAY. The shelter staff managed to find adoptive homes for 94 pets and returned 26 strays since November 1. And none of them have been returned.

Shelter pets need homes
The Adams County SPCA had a record year with 598 pets adopted into furever homes. But this is just a drop in the bucket of animals that enter US shelters every year.

An estimated 6.3 million animals go into shelters nationwide, according to the ASPCA. About 3.1 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats. That’s a huge number of animals.

Because of limited space, 920,000 animals in shelters are euthanized every year but this number decreased from an estimated 2.6 million in 2011. That’s because there is an increase of animals that are either returned to owners or adopted.

By clearing the shelter, the Adams county facility will be able to take in animals from other shelters in Pennsylvania giving them a chance of finding a home, reported CNN.

No-kill shelters
Adopting a pet is more ethical than buying one at a pet store but there are differences between going to a traditional shelter or a ‘no-kill” one, according to The Dayton Beach News Journal.

No-kill shelters never euthanize an animal due to space limitations and hope to rehab and care for sick animals. That’s because they intend to find homes for all of the animals they take in.

There are also animal rescue groups that take in older, hard to adopt animals and rehome them in animal sanctuaries where they can receive medical care and securely live out their days.

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