JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The Northeast Arkansas Humane Society had a record-setting adoption rate this year with over 850 animals.
To put this record into comparison, in 2019 there were 575 adoptions. While last year set its own record, 2020s new record will go even higher with a few weeks left in December.
Executive Director Hillary Starnes said there are a few reasons as to why the number rose.
“I think with COVID people were wanting that companion while they were staying home,” she said. “We did have a couple of returns but a lot of people who were home for six months, so they decided this was the best time for them to acclimate a dog or cat into their family.”
NEAHS changed their animal visits this year to approved application appointments only. This way, the person or family adopting could have one-on-one time with the staff.
They could also pair an animal to a family more easily, too.
As you enter the shelter, the number of adoptions is clearly placed. For Starnes, it represents a lot.
“To me, it represents the hard work with our staff as well as the caring community that wants to come to our shelter to adopt,” she said.
In addition to the pandemic’s influence and the facility’s meet and greet with animals, they’ve also held Empty the Shelter events, which has helped adoption rates.
For the fourth time this year, The Bissell Pet Foundation awarded NEAHS with a grant to reimburse animal adoption fees. NEAHS calls this event, Empty the Shelter.
Beginning Wednesday, Dec 9, families looking to adopt can do so at a lower rate:
- Dogs $25
- Cats $15
NEAHS works year-round to take care of the animals, and their hard work shows.
“It shows that we can take in a lot more numbers and get them out as much as we can,” she said. “It’s hard work. It is a 365 day, 7 days a week deal that our staff is here taking care of the animals, cleaning, and making sure they are fed and watered.”