It’s puppies and kittens galore. And Bryan County residents are invited to adopt for free this weekend.
The Richmond Hill Animal Shelter is holding an adoption drive Saturday, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the shelter, where free kittens and puppies will be given away.
Animal Control Officer Valerie Barnard, who works at both the Richmond Hill and Pembroke shelters, said she’s praying for a big turnout.
"We’re usually just open Monday through Friday and we usually just do adoptions by appointment, but right now, it’s ridiculous," she said. "I have 30 kittens and more than 20 puppies. We have older animals that are up for adoption as well, but we’re really pushing the puppies and kittens. An adoption form will still have to be filled out and the owners will have to promise to get them spayed or neutered."
Barnard said there’s not enough room for all the puppies and kitties to stay at the shelter and continue growing.
"We are full to capacity but I feel all these dogs and cats are really adoptable," she said. "I’ve got a couple Great Danes and some full blooded labs that have actually been here for several months and I’ve been putting off putting these puppies down because they make wonderful pets and they just haven’t been adopted yet. Generally, we don’t keep them that long. Usually we keep them for about a month. I’m hoping they’ll all find a home."
Barnard said she hates to have to put down any animal, but space and funding is an issue.
"The worst part of my job is putting animals down," she said. "I’m glad for the possibility of the county opening up a no-kill shelter someday, I’d be all for that. It’s really hard because you have so many numbers and only so much room and money to feed them. It’s sad. If I could, I would take them all home with me."
Barnard has worked with the shelter for nine months and said this is the fullest it’s ever been. She said springtime is mating season for cats and dogs and many residents aren’t having their animals fixed.
Barnard stressed the puppies and kittens are completely free of charge, but if anyone wants to bring a bag of puppy or kitten food in return for their free pet, she’d be happy for the donation. If you are interested in helping but can’t take a new furry friend, the shelter is always accepting donations – from funds to dog food.
The shelter is located on Hwy. 144 Spur, just past the Bryan County landfill. For more information, call Barnard at 653-3816.