First State Animal Center-SPCA waives adoption fees for adult cats and dogs only for the month of August; shelter is above capacity for animals
For the month of August 2014, adoption fees for adult cats and dogs only and more than 6 months of age are being waived, due to overcrowding and to help the Animal Center with its ASPCA Adoption Challenge, which ends August 31, 2014 at midnight. Adoption hold fees of $20 are also waived. This special applies to the main Camden shelter, PetSmart in North Dover, and all adoption events. This applies only while the center has available animals for adoption, and only for the month of August 2014.
“We work diligently to comply with the unfunded mandates expected of us, one of those with the biggest impact is accepting all homeless cats and dogs that we have room for,” said J. Kevin Usilton, Executive Director. “This has brought us to a place where we have more animals than we really have space for, so we’ve decided to waive the adoption fees just for the month of August for our adoptable animals.” Currently, the FSAC-SPCA has 130 available animals for adoption, including 71 cats, 60 dogs, two rabbits, a hamster, and a small pony. The center is holding more than 200 animals waiting for either adoption, return to lost owner, or euthanasia.
The First State Animal Center and SPCA is part of the ASPCA Rachel Ray Adoption Challenge, which runs from June 1st through August 31st. As of July 15th, the FSAC-SPCA was in 35th place out of 50, and 6th place (out of ten) in its division.
“We would like to win this competition, which will bring much needed resources to our State's homeless animals,” added Usilton.
Usilton said that many participating animal shelters in the Challenge have waived their adoption fees during a timeframe to help adopt out the animals in their care, so this can be a normal practice. “Also, we are firm believers that an animal will do much better in the care of a loving home and family, instead of spending its life in shelter, regardless of how well the animal center cares for it,” he said, noting that the animals are extremely well cared for at FSAC-SPCA. Usilton noted that all potential adoptive families and individuals will still have to qualify for the adoption and go through the adoption screening and be prepared to wait in line possibly. The adoption fee waiver will be in effect until the end of August, or until all adoptable animals are adopted, whichever comes first.
Lisa Strong Chase, director of development and marketing for the FSAC-SPCA, says this is an extremely generous move on the Center’s part. “Every adoptable animal that is placed on the adoption list is vaccinated, spayed or neutered and microchipped, which costs us about $150 per animal,” she said. “That doesn’t include the board and food costs. Our fund-raising appeals quote $1,000 can cover the cost of a dog’s stay in the kennel, from the intake date to the adoption date – if the dog is in for a few months. For a cat, it is $500. This will help us hopefully find wonderful forever homes for the animals in our care. I think it is also a gift to the community, which has been so supportive of our efforts.”
The mission of the First State Animal Center and SPCA is twofold: they protect animals from people, by prevention of cruelty and suffering, rescue of the trapped or injured, emergency medical treatment, temporary housing for homeless animals and the reduction of homeless pet overpopulation through targeted spay/neuter and education programs; and they protect people from animals through their commitment in placing only stable, safe and well-adjusted animals into homes where they will thrive while simultaneously educating the public about responsible pet guardianship.
Delaware Animal Care and Control is under the auspices of the First State Animal Center – SPCA. Delaware Animal Control is the enforcement agency for Title 3, Title 9 and Title 11 laws pertaining to animal welfare. Title 3 pertains to rabies control; Title 9 pertains to housing and dangerous dogs, and Title 11 pertains to animal cruelty.