Animals find new homes during Clear the Shelters


Joshua Bates (left) helps his son, Oliver, 2, hold a kitten they are about to adopt during the SPCA of Northeast North Carolina’s Clear the Shelter event on Saturday. Throughout the day the adoption fees for all cats and dogs were waived and residents could take an animal home for free.


By Chris Day
Multimedia Editor

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Two rats were among the 30 happy animals to find new homes last weekend during a free pet adoption drive at SPCA of Northeast North Carolina.

A total of 17 cats, 11 dogs and two rats were adopted Saturday, said SPCA shelter employee Jessica Weatherly.

Saturday was Clear the Shelters Day, a national pet adoption drive hosted annually by NBC and Telemundo-owned broadcast stations, according to cleartheshelters.com.

Throughout the day all pet adoption fees were waived and residents were able to adopt an animal for free. In the weeks leading up to Saturday, adoption fees were reduced to half their normal costs of $90 for dogs and $50 for cats.

The shelter, located on Enterprise Drive, opened Saturday at 11 a.m. By 1:30 p.m. the lobby was packed with people filling out adoption applications. While one family member was busy filling in the necessary application information, a child or spouse was holding the animal they had picked out.

Weatherly said there were moments when she was so busy she was working on five applications at once.

In the shelter’s cat area children laughed while watching the kittens play. One excited young boy was Oliver Bates, 2, who had already selected the family’s new cat.

“He came in and immediately picked out that white one,” said Oliver’s father, Joshua Bates, pointing to a young cream white cat still in its cage and waiting to go its new home.

Jason Forbes was adopting a tabby kitten. He said he has one cat who needs a friend, and Clear the Shelters came just in time.

“This is a perfect opportunity,” Forbes said, of taking advantage of the event.

Meanwhile, the sound of excited dogs barking could be heard from the kennel, as one by one another human found his new best friend.

Weatherly said this year’s Clear the Shelters event saw several more animals adopted than in the previous two years. Last year’s total was 18 animals adopted, and just 16 were adopted in 2017.

Saturday was also a good day for the Tri-County Animal Shelter in Tyner in Chowan County. Shelter Director Katelyn Robertson said 22 of the shelter’s 34 cats were adopted and 14 of the shelter’s 23 dogs found new homes.