Sep 5, 2023

Clear The Shelters Helps Pets Find New Homes

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DCHS helps more pets find loving homes in August, besting other recent months by a wide margin, thanks to the Clear The Shelters adoption event.

Each month in 2023, Dane County Humane Society (DCHS) has helped over 200 pets find new homes. That’s quite a lot, but it’s only a fraction of the number of pets who need new homes.

Animal shelters and rescues continue to struggle with high intakes combined with slow adoptions, resulting in pets waiting longer to find their new homes. So in August, we partnered with NBC15 for the month-long Clear The Shelters event in an effort to find every adoptable animal in our shelter a new family.

During the first three weeks of August, we reduced adoption fees of a different animal group each week – first cats, then critters, and finally our Lonely Hearts Club members. We rounded out the month with a weekend finale that featured reduced adoption fees for ALL available animals. In just that one weekend, we sent home 76 pets.

In July, our second highest adoption month, we saw 297 pets adopted into new homes. Thanks to our community and the Clear The Shelters adoption event, we celebrated an amazing 365 adoptions in August!

Congratulations to the adopters and their new furry, feathered, and scaly family members!

Empty kitty cottages after the Clear The Shelters weekend finale.

Even though the event has concluded, our staff and volunteers continue to bask in the joy of all the animals who found new homes and the conversations they had with some of the adopters.

One woman was a trusted babysitter for her friends’ and family members’ cats, but she never had a cat of her own…until Saturday, when she adopted her first-ever cat.

The parents in one family concocted an elaborate ruse so they could surprise their children with a new pet. They told the kids that they were participating in a “socialization event” at DCHS, and the kids picked out the kitten they hoped to meet from our website. Mom made sure to arrive early to get in line. After meeting with the kitten, one of the children was beaming with excitement about how sweet the kitty was and expressed just how much she wanted one of her own. Mom turned to her daughter and said they should adopt the kitten…and revealed their surprise! The children were so excited and happy to add a new furry friend to the family.

The white board listing the names of all the cats and dogs available for adoption during the Clear The Shelters weekend finale. The photo shows the board at the end of the event, with numerous names crossed off indicating these animals were adopted!

One couple had lost their trusted companion a few weeks earlier. They’re professional dog walkers, and it pained them to return to an empty home after spending time with other people’s dogs. They had planned to find a new female pup to take home, but when they found themselves smitten with a male puppy, they adopted him. They were already planning their first adventure vacation as a family before they left the building.

One woman attended the weekend finale hoping to find a new dog. While she did not find a match with a pup, she adopted a feathered friend – our only rooster at the event – to bring home and live with her current flock of 50 chickens.

A mother and daughter attended our weekend finale together, planning to adopt a couple cats. After meeting with several potential new family members, Mom adopted one cat to pair with her existing kitty at home, while her daughter adopted a pair of kittens so they would have a friend right away.

Even though the event has ended, there are still pets in the shelter, and more coming every week, who need new homes and families. The spaces that have opened at DCHS means we’re immediately able to assist other shelters in dire need of help with placing animals. Some are already in Wisconsin, and we will transfer in others from overcrowded shelters throughout the country. Together with our community, we won’t stop helping these animals until they all have found the support, care, and love they deserve.

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