Empty the Shelter: Deep discounts for pet adoptions Oct. 12 at Fredericksburg SPCA

Where can you find a new best friend and unconditional love for $25? At the Fredericksburg SPCA, located at 10819 Courthouse Road, Fredericksburg.

Adopters will have the chance to bring home a shelter pet for the reduced fee of $25 while Bissell Pet Foundation picks up the additional cost at the Empty the Shelters event Saturday from noon to 6 p.m.

“We’ve got it all, dogs, puppies, cats, kittens,” said Dalia Salah, director of community advancement and communications for the Fredericksburg SPCA.  “We definitely want to clear out some of our longer-stay shelter animals. These are animals that have been with us longer than two to three weeks.”

Empty the Shelters began in 2016 to raise awareness about pet adoption across the country and to encourage people to visit a shelter, especially if they never had before.

“Our shelter partners continue to give feedback that Empty the Shelters is saving lives in their area,” said Cathy Bissell, founder of Bissell Pet Foundation. “Not only do thousands of pets find homes, but shelter and rescue organizations of all sizes collaborate to make the greatest impact possible for pets. These relationships continue long after the event ends.”

Now, organizations across 26 states have taken part in the reduced-fee adoption event. Stafford SPCA held an Empty the Shelters event in August.  

“It gives our community an even bigger incentive to adopt,” Salah said. “We have dozens of cats, dozens of dogs. Some of these animals were born in our care.”

Bri Olson, communications manager for Bissell Pet Foundation, said adopting and not shopping is important when it comes to finding an animal companion.

“People drop off their pets, abandon them or don’t spay or neuter them,” she said. “They all have unique background stories and they all deserve love. They are stuck in the shelter for reasons beyond their control.”

Several of the cats currently in the shelter came in a couple of weeks ago from a hoarding situation, Salah said.

During the event, adoptable animals will be on the floor and volunteers will be ready to facilitate meetings and answer questions.

“We have an open adoption model,” Salah said. “We are really approachable and want to work with as many people as we possibly can. The reality is dogs and cats and kittens and puppies are being euthanized throughout the state for things as simple as lack of space.”

The Fredericksburg SPCA requires that adopters be 18 years of age. A conversation-based consult which includes questions about the adopters’ lifestyle and expectations takes place before the adoption.

“We’re very transparent about the animals’ needs,” she said.

All the adoptable animals are up-to-date on their vaccinations, have been microchipped and are spayed or neutered.

“We are entering the fall and winter months” Salah said. “If you are looking for companionship that’s going to provide you with unconditional love and support during these dark and cold days, and for the rest of the time you have together, now is the time to come and adopt.”

The event runs from noon to 6 p.m. For more information, call 540-898-1500.

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