Finding loving, forever homes
Animal services facility hosts ‘Clear the Shelters’ pet adoption drive
The Prince George’s County Animal Services Facility and NBC4 Washington hosted the second annual “Clear the Shelters” pet adoption drive Saturday in Upper Marlboro to help homeless pets find new homes.
Clear the Shelters, according to its website, is a nationwide initiative that aims to connect animals in need with loving new families. Thanks to the help of nearly 700 participating shelters across the country, more than 47,000 pets have been adopted this year.
Last year’s highly successful inaugural effort resulted in nearly 20,000 pets being adopted into new families, 56 of whom found new homes right here in the county. Residents who attended this year’s event received reduced fee adoptions— although they were required to pay a $5 pet license fee — as well as waived pet spaying and neutering fees, a press release from the county’s animal services facility noted.
From dogs and cats to fish, snakes and even a rabbit, Associate Director Rodney Taylor said about 57 animals found loving, forever homes with their new owners.
“It was a wonderful event,” Taylor said in a phone
interview. “Many, many families came out to take one of our pets and give them forever, loving homes. We’re really excited about that.”
Each year, millions of unwanted and homeless animals are born in this country. Of those that end up in shelters, some will be adopted but many will be euthanized. One of the most important things families can do is to have their pets spayed or neutered, according to the Prince George’s County website.
A key responsibility of the Animal Management Division is to place pets from the facility in the most suitable home available for both the pet and the family. All animals must be maintained in accordance with the licensing and other laws of the community in which it resides and be provided with routine and emergency veterinary care as required, the website also noted.
“They have a new member of their family that should be with them for its life and that’s certainly the goal,” Taylor said.
As an open-door mission shelter, Taylor said the facility takes in a lot of animals— especially from June to August — that otherwise can’t be turned away. That, in turn, makes it very challenging for his staff to find homes for them all, he said.
“We’re trying to encourage all of the general public that, ‘Please, if for some reason you have to give up your animal, talk to your family, your next of kin, your coworkers, your church members. Someone will probably take that animal from you instead of just brining it to the shelter because we’re already challenged enough with trying to find homes for the ones that we have,’” he said. “So it was really important that we had a day like [the pet adopt drive] where we can try our best to place as many animals as we can.”
For Taylor, he said the pet adopt drive combined with the humane education component, which the facility offers a range of presentations from spay/neuter services to animal safety, promotes a healthy and respectful attitude towards animals and all living beings. He is thankful to have a great group of staff members who helped make the event a success.
“The families were excited,” Taylor said. “The kids were so happy — big smiles on their faces, taking pictures, hugging, kissing. We saw it all.”
Above, the Joseph and Redden families, the first two families to adopt, enjoy play time with their new pups during the second annual “Clear the Shelters” drive July 23 at the Prince George’s County Animal Services Facility in Upper Marlboro. The...
Nicky Oliver, a former resident of Capitol Heights, smiles as she poses with her new pet snake.