INDUSTRY — The Franklin County Animal Shelter might not be empty after this weekend’s adoption event, but shelter staff hope it will be at least a little roomier.
In anticipation of kitten season, the time of year the shelter’s kitten intake jumps, the shelter is hosting a three-day adoption event, Empty the Shelter, with waived fees for cat adoptions and half-price dog adoption fees, director Heidi Jordan said.
“It will be the largest adoption event we’ve done since I’ve been here,” said Jordan, who has been with the shelter for four years.
The event is scheduled for noon to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at the Industry Road shelter. Adoption fees vary by animal, but generally medium to large dogs cost $150, small dogs cost $175 and cats cost $75.
Jordan said around March the shelter always anticipates getting more kittens because of the cycle of cat breeding, and this year the staff members are trying to get ahead of the surge by finding homes for the cats that are already in the shelter.
Erin Miner, volunteer coordinator, said the shelter also hopes to have a drawing during the adoption event as well as “other fun things going on.”
There are 52 cats and eight dogs at the shelter, though the census changes daily, Jordan said Tuesday while a cat stretched out in her lap and two others curled up near her feet.
“With some of the cats that have been here the longest, we also have nail caps on to draw a little more attention to them,” she said, indicating a nearby cat with bright pink casings on her claws.
The shelter takes in about 80 cats a month, and they have an average stay of 24 days. The number of cats per month has decreased from 100 cats a month the year before. Jordan atributes the decrease to the fact animal control officers spayed and neutered 345 cats last winter.
Veterinary fees make up the largest expense in the shelter’s $335,000 annual budget, Jordan said. Out of the total budget, 18 percent is paid by the member towns. Towns are required by Maine statute to contract with an animal shelter, and 26 towns contract with the Franklin County Animal Shelter for a fee based on population.
“We try to keep it low, but veterinary care isn’t cheap,” she said.
All animals available for adoption this week are spayed or neutered, tested for disease and brought up to date on vaccines. Each adoption comes with 30 days of free health insurance.
To adopt an animal, prospective pet owners should bring an animal carrier; but if needed, the shelter offers cardboard carriers for $5.
Before adopting an animal, people should consider whether they can afford the expense that comes with owning one, whether everyone at their residence is OK with a new pet and if all pets already in the home will be able to get along with the new arrival.
Anyone with questions about adopting a pet should call the shelter at 778-2638 for more information. General information is available on the shelter’s website.
Kaitlin Schroeder — firstname.lastname@example.org