Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cats, a dog, find new homes at HRM SPCA’s adopt-a-thon

Twelve cats and a dog found new homes on Saturday during an adoption drive put on by the SPCA’s metro shelter.

The event was organized in an effort to find permanent abodes for 140 animals currently housed at the shelter, a satellite location and various foster homes.

The shelter’s manager, Diana Forrestall, called the event a success.

"People were even coming in this week to get the best dogs before the adopt-a-thon," she said.

Over 200 people showed up, meandering through rows of spacious cages housing dogs and cats of all shapes, ages, colours and sizes, searching for the perfect pet. Staff and volunteers at the shelter spent the day introducing potential owners to the various animals up for adoption, opening cage doors so people could hold each potential pet.

"We let them spend time with them, to be sure," said Teresa, a shelter volunteer. "What we want are happy people and happy animals."

In addition to the finalized adoptions, the shelter also received 25 applications from people who are waiting for their chosen animal to be healthy enough to leave the shelter. "We had a real mixture of people, which is what we need because every animal is different," said Ms. Forrestall.

The event was also an effort to restore public confidence in the SPCA. Last Tuesday, Pamela Keddy announced she was resigning as president of the Nova Scotia SPCA in the wake of several months of internal squabbling and allegations that the animal welfare agency had mishandled a case of animal cruelty in Port Hawkesbury.

"I think the event was a real eye-opener for the general public coming in," said shelter employee Lisa Dowe. "They need to see what we do and how things work here."

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