Farmington shelter teams with animal society for weekend pet adoption event

John R. Moses
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON – A weekend-long event aimed at encouraging people to adopt pets this holiday season instead of buying them at pet stores takes place Dec. 9-Dec. 11 at the Farmington Regional Animal Shelter.

Adoption fees usually charged by the shelter will be waived during the event for all animals.

Farmington Regional Animal Shelter and Best Friends Animal Society, which the city called “a leading animal welfare organization working to save the lives of cats and dogs in America’s shelters by 2025,”  joined forces for the weekend-long event

The event is designed to encourage potential adoptees to meet adoptable animals, and emphasizes the intentional decision to adopt, instead of purchase, their next pet.

“We are incredibly grateful for this partnership with the Best Friends Animal Society,” said Stacie Voss, the shelter’s animal welfare director. “Enabling us to waive adoption fees this weekend will help many pets find loving homes just in time for the holidays.”

Shelters nationwide struggle with intake demand

The event comes at time when shelters across the country are stretched thin. Data from the Best Friends group indicates that U.S. shelters saw an increase in animal intakes at a level "that adoptions couldn’t keep pace with. The animal welfare community is in crisis, and many shelters across the country are over capacity and are needing to make difficult decisions surrounding lifesaving efforts."

This is Panda. She's 2 months and 21 days old and could grow to as much as 44 pounds as an adult. She's been in the shelter system since October, and is in a foster home, according to the online listing of available pets viewed Dec. 7 at fmtn.org/animalshelter.

Farmington's shelter is one of those facilities.

"Farmington Regional Animal Shelter typically transfers more than 600 animals to other organizations by this time of year due to overpopulation in this area," the news release stated. "Because of the nationwide imbalance of animals entering shelters, FRAS has only been able to transfer 50, creating a backlog of animals in the shelter."

The partner group is no stranger to working with shelters to run adoption events.

Across the country, Best Friends Animal Society has partnered with more than 600 shelters and rescues for the holiday campaign, the city said in a news release. Its last three nationwide adoption weekends have led to more than 25,000 pet adoptions.

“There’s no better way to spread holiday cheer this holiday season than to adopt or foster a shelter pet in need,” said, of Best Friends Animal Society CEO Julie Castle. “By adopting a best friend, you’re giving one lucky dog or cat a home as well as creating space for another pet to be rescued. That means you become a lifesaver to two animals in need and there’s no better gift than that.”

Distemper outbreak strains already stressed system

Earlier this fall the shelter stopped the intake of dogs due to an outbreak of canine distemper, and that situation is still being closely managed, said city spokesperson Georgette Allen on Dec. 7.

“As of Monday, we still have two kennels in isolation that have known exposure to distemper,” Allen said via email. “Swabs are being sent off for testing this week and next week and those results will determine our next steps. Until we can fully open our holding area, we will remain closed to dog intake, except for emergencies.”

This weekend's adoption event will proceed, with the shelter's healthy dog sand other animals available to the public.

“We do have two kennel areas that have been cleared and 19 dogs available for adoption,” Allen noted. “This weekend event includes cat adoptions.”

Farmington Regional Animal Shelter is located at 133 Browning Pkwy. in Farmington and is open Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Adoptable pets can also be viewed online at fmtn.org/animalshelter.

Dogs and cats that are adopted during this event come spayed or neutered, already have their first set of vaccinations and have been microchipped.