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Nearly 300 animals were adopted during last year's event

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FARMINGTON — For the second year in a row, the Farmington Regional Animal Shelter is holding an event during which pet adoption fees are waived for every shelter animal that finds a new home.

The "Priceless Pets" event got underway at 11:30 a.m. today via an announcement on the shelter's Facebook page, and within 90 minutes, several potential pet owners had arrived at the shelter to take advantage of the offer.

The event is made possible by an anonymous donation to the Farmington Regional Animal Shelter Foundation that covers all adoption costs at the shelter, 133 Browning Parkway, over the duration of the event. The offer concludes at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

The shelter held the event for the first time last year.

"It was an enormous success last year, and we're hoping it will be this year," shelter program manager Amber Francisco said.

A total of 277 animals were adopted during last year's event — every animal in the shelter, according to The Daily Times archives. That adoption fees that were waived during the event and covered by the donor came to more than $11,000, according to a shelter official.

That total won't be as high this year simply because the shelter didn't have as many animals on hand when the event began this morning. Francisco said 168 animals were eligible for adoption today.

The event lasted a week last year but is only slated for three days this year because of that smaller number. Shelter officials said there was only a handful of pets left in the shelter by noon on the first day of the event last year.

The response to the first year of the event caught shelter officials by surprise, Francisco said.

"It overwhelmed us," she said, explaining that shelter officials expect a similar response this year. For that reason, they decided not to do any advance promotion of the event.

"We always try to keep it hush-hush until the last minute," she said.

Among those looking for a pet today were Bloomfield residents Mikayla Nourse and Shantel Esparza. The two saw a notice promoting the event on Facebook this morning and quickly headed to the shelter.

A short while later, they had settled on three dogs between them and were introducing the animals to each other to make sure they were compatible.

"We'll have our own little family now," Esparza said, smiling.

Last year's event emptied the shelter of animals, but the situation was only temporary, Francisco said, explaining it was only a couple of weeks before the facility was filled again with animals needing a home. Within two hours of the start of the event today, 18 animals already had been adopted, she said.

More: Hundreds of shelter pets found homes last week

Those looking to adopt a pet are limited to two animals per household, according to the shelter, and adoptions conducted during the event remain subject to the regular adoption process.

Call 505-599-1098 for more information about the event or visit fmtn.org/AnimalShelter.

Mike Easterling is the night editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4610.

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