HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Southern Pines Animal Shelter wants to "bring joy to your world" by lowering pet adoption fees to $25 through December.
"For that fee, the animal is spayed or neutered, up to date on their vaccines," Katherine Sammons, shelter operations manager, said. "They receive a microchip. We also give the adopter an engraved tag, nylon collar and a bag of food to take home. There's 30 days of free pet that goes along with that, so that is a huge amount for $25. That's a big amount for our regular adoption fee, which is only $100. But to have that for $25? You're not going to find that anywhere."
Sammons said Southern Pines partnered with the No More Homeless Pets Network and the Best Friends Animal Society for their December adoption special. She said those national non-profits help local shelters with grant and fundraising opportunities, which allows them to reduce or wave animal adoption fees.
"Last year over 200 network partners partnered with them to run this event and to do this fee reduced adoption event, and that actually resulted in saving the lives of over 8,000 animals nationwide," she said.
Sammons said local sponsorships are also essential too.
"Even though we're doing this big promotion and it's wonderful and it's much publicized, every single day we have heroes in our local community who are coming in and sponsoring the adoption fee of a pet," she said.
She said reduced adoption fees and their spay and neuter clinic have been essential to increasing Southern Pines' live release rate to 98 percent.
"In the sheltering world, it is actually a very big deal for an open admission shelter to reach a live release rate that high," Sammons said.
Sammons said she does see an increase in adoptions during these kinds of specials, but also in individual animal sponsorship.
"When people come into the shelter, often times they will see an animal, and even if they can't adopt that animal, something in that animal speaks to them," she said. "People will always come up to the office and be like 'oh tell me about this dog or that dog. I can't adopt this dog, but what can I do to help this dog get adopted?' So, hey, if you want to sponsor their fee, you know, that just helps a lot. Especially with animals that have been here for quite awhile or that are just kind of plain."
She said adoption specials help highlight animals that may continually get overlooked, and said it's exciting when they are finally adopted.
"It's a really special feeling," Sammons said. "Of course, staff, we always get very attached to all of the animals here. So when we have a dog or a cat that we know has been here and has been overlooked again and again and again, to have a special like this, and to see that animal go home with their family, it's – you can't even describe the feeling. It's wonderful."