US shelter runs out of animals for the first time in nearly 50 years

"A real miracle!" the shelter wrote

5 mins read

An animal shelter in the US recently celebrated the adoption of all its pets for the first time in nearly 50 years.

According to a Facebook post by the Adams County SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), an animal shelter in Pennsylvania, the organization’s cages are completely empty for the first time in 47 years. The organization said in the post that all of its animals have been adopted and that stray animals have found permanent homes, calling the achievement “a true miracle.”

“Today is a great day for the Adams County SPCA!” the SPCA began the post.

Two weeks ago our cages were almost full, now we have no dogs in the building (we have a stray cat that arrived recently)!!! Our community has stepped up once again! For the first time in 47 YEARS, the Adams County SPCA is empty at Christmas – a true miracle!”

The organization added that they were ecstatic about the number of animals adopted this holiday season, and gave their hardworking staff and volunteers the praise they deserved. The organization shared a photo of its employees standing with proud smiles on their faces in a hallway with empty cages.


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“To say we are extremely excited would be an understatement!” they wrote in the post.

Our staff and volunteers have worked VERY hard to take care of the animals under our care and ensure they are adopted to the right home! This year we adopted 598 animals and reunited 125 stray animals with their owners! WOW, it has been a busy year! We thank everyone for their continued support and look forward to new adventures in 2024!

Over the next week, the SPCA says it plans to relieve other “overwhelmed” shelters in Pennsylvania and hopes to find homes for some of the animals there. “Now we get to enjoy this success! Merry Christmas!” the organization said.

Almost two weeks ago, the shelter’s cages were full, but according to the animal shelter, there are currently no dogs and one stray cat. Tonya Hays, who is in charge of animal care at the shelter, told Today that in the previous two weeks the shelter had managed to transfer between 15 and 20 animals, both adopted and returned to their owners.

“We had to sterilize them all, vaccinate them, test them for heartworms and tick-borne diseases, and also process a lot of [adoption] applications, so the staff worked really hard,” Hays said.

It was quite beautiful. It was a great success.

Since November 1, the shelter has adopted 94 animals and returned 26 strays to their owners, while shelter officials proudly confirmed that no animals have been sent back.

Many people who adopted pets from the shelter filled the comments section of the post with photos of their furry friends, including both dogs and felines. The shelter also shared stories (or “happy tails” [a play on the English word “tale” for story and “tail” for tail]) from the animals’ new owners, including a heartwarming story about a recently adopted orange tabby cat named Bootsie.

“Our children all adore her but she has changed things the most for my 4-year-old autistic daughter,” Bootsie’s owner wrote to the shelter.

Instead of throwing big tantrums when Hope is upset, she hugs Bootsie, cuddles her and practices verbalizing compassion, love and caring. Thank you so much for everything you do!

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), 6.3 million animals enter shelters each year (almost equal numbers of cats and dogs), but only 4.1 million are adopted. The organization adds that 920,000 animals in shelters are put down each year, most of them cats. On the other hand, an estimated 810,000 stray animals are returned to their owners annually, 710,000 dogs and 100,000 cats.

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