Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

December 19, 2012

Mercer Animal Shelter lowers adoption fees temporarily

PRINCETON — Tuesday was a very special day for Chloe the Chihuahua – for the first time in her life, she was going home.

Chloe was among the dogs and cats that have been adopted during the Home Sweet Home Adoption Fair at the Mercer County Animal Shelter. The fair started Monday and continues until Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. each day. During the fair, adoption fees are only $10 for cats and kittens, and $30 for dogs and puppies.

Plenty of people visited the shelter Monday and adopted 31 animals, said Director Lisa Williams.

“That’s an awesome number,” Williams said Tuesday soon after the shelter opened. “We may, on average, have five or six adoptions a day. We’ve had a really good response. A lot of people have come to look, and most of them have adopted.”

By the time the shelter closed Tuesday, another 10 animals had found new homes, leaving the shelter with 131 dogs and cats.

Members of a family near the shelter’s front desk were taking turns cuddling their latest addition, a Chihuahua that was born at the shelter last September. Dubbed Chloe, the little dog squirmed, licked faces and whined a bit as her nails were clipped.

“A friend of ours came out and adopted a cat,” said Lisa Dunkleberger of Lake Shawnee. “Actually, we came out looking for a basset hound, but we ended up with a Chihuahua.”

Heather Hagerman of Princeton was seeking a  feline for her 3-year-old son, Bryson. Some cats reached out with their paws while other scrutinized the visitors. She pointed out a new arrival that was a little shy. Williams opened the gate and gently scooped by the young cat.

“He’s beautiful,” Hagerman decided, cuddling the young cat. “I love his markings. It’s going to be a Christmas present for my little boy.”

Hagerman didn’t have a name for the new family cat in mind. She was going to leave the naming to her son.

Williams checked the cat and learned that he was a she, but it didn’t matter. The adoption process was underway. The adoption fees includes spaying or neutering, vaccinations and deworming.

One of the fair’s goals is to inspire more people to adopt, Williams said. Another goal is to make the community more aware of the shelter and its homeless animals.

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