Hot Springs Animal Services officials are hopeful that their fourth annual home adoption event scheduled for Friday night will be as successful as the previous three, the shelter coordinator said on Wednesday.
“It was amazing,” Michelle Stone said of the annual event. “Last year we adopted almost every one of them. With COVID we didn’t really open up at night like we expected, but the previous two years we adopted every animal we had. in the shelter, so it’s been a real success. “
The event, which offers half-price adoptions, will take place Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the shelter, located at 319 Davidson Drive. The adoption fee, $ 27.50 for cats and $ 37.50 for dogs, includes sterilization, a microchip, and rabies vaccination.
The event will also feature hot chocolate, cookies and Christmas decorations and Stone has said they will be having some kind of contest or drawing – “guess how many goodies in a jar or chocolates, something like that” .
Stone said they usually have people coming to the event and “pay up front”, covering adoption costs for the others “so they come and we can tell them their dog is free” . She said some just donate money to help with the animals.
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Deputies from the Garland County Sheriff’s Office will be on hand during the event to hand out $ 50 vouchers on the cost of sterilization or sterilization for residents of Garland County only.
Stone said the cost depends on the vet, but the sheriff’s office has “about eight different vets they work with.” She said MPs also plan to go out earlier today on Friday to walk some of the dogs and play with them.
The pandemic has put a strain on the refuge, she said. “As a result, we have received more animals and it is more difficult to take them out” and they were forced to euthanize some animals for lack of space.
“We’d rather get a dog out the front door because you don’t just save one, you save two, because that opens up another cage for us to keep one longer,” Stone said.
When the pandemic hit, people were bringing their animals “because they couldn’t pay the vet’s bills, couldn’t afford to eat, or were too sick to care for them,” a- she declared. “We had a lot of surrenders.”
She said there was also an increase in the number of strayers “where people just let them go rather than bring them here because they don’t want us to think badly of them. ‘they bring them rather than throw them on the streets because they can’t survive there, but they can here. “
Stone said they were holding the animals “from three weeks to a month and a half, it depends on how many we get per day. Last Wednesday we got 35 in one day. We tell people we’re getting five to 20 animals per day. Day on average. “
The shelter’s capacity varies depending on whether they can house two or more animals together, she said, but they have 37 original kennels and five quarantine kennels, “which are full at the moment” and their kennels are full. agency assistance are also full.
The animal welfare agency they keep is “like the police department arrest someone and they get arrested, we are holding their animal. We’ve had one since August. We get them from LifeNet, if anyone goes to the hospital, we will hold their dog for them until they are released from the hospital or they are found elsewhere. If there is a fire in a house and it there are animals, we welcome them.
The shelter’s normal hours are noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, although they take calls 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. “
Stone encouraged potential pet owners to “always think about coming to a shelter before buying one,” because “the animals in the shelter need a second chance. You walk in here and they look at you and sometimes you. just know if it’s the right one or not. “
She said that unfortunately after Christmas around 10% of animals are usually returned to them. “The children weren’t in school, but school resumes and they realize that they can’t take care of them. They don’t want to teach them to be clean. They start to eat the furniture. getting used to the house, ”she said.
Stones pointed out that owning a pet is a “lifelong commitment” to the life of the animal, which could be “at least 15 years”.
HSPD Sgt. Chris Adkins, the shelter director, stressed the importance of microchipping his pet, noting that they are donating microchips to the shelter for a $ 20 donation.
“We are recovering a stray animal and the officer can scan it in the field and contact the owner immediately instead of bringing it here where you have to pay a claim fee.”