Animal shelter adjusting to empty space after major adoption sale

(WTHI Photo)
(WTHI Photo)

VINCENNES, Ind. (WTHI) – You’ve seen it in several of our stories at News 10, too many animals and not enough space at local animal shelters. Cages continue filling up, and quickly, with animals in need of forever homes.

Laura Arial knows this all too well, as the director of the Vincennes Animal Shelter, her days are far from quiet.

“It’s really loud at first, I mean you’ve got 15 to 20 dogs barking all at one time, so it definitely gets loud,” she said.

Lately, things are different. Walk inside the dog kennel buildings and you’ll notice the silence and empty cages.

“All of our dogs were gone,” she said, “We adopted everything out but two cats, and by Saturday morning at 10 o’clock, we adopted the two cats out.”

Over the weekend, the shelter hosted a major adoption sale. For $10 a piece, 52 animals were up for adoption. In the course of a couple of days, all of the animals found forever homes. Arial says this is the first time the shelter has held an adoption blow out event of this kind.

“I’ve seen all these other shelters run these kinds of specials before where they’ve had free days or $10 days,” she said, “I always thought that was really cool, but I never thought we could pull that off because some of the dogs that we had here, one of them had been here for almost two years.”

All 52 animals involved in the sale were spayed, neutered and vaccinated. Only advertising the event through word of mouth and social media, Arial says the response from the community was a pleasant surprise.

“The majority of our adopters weren’t Vincennes residents,” she said, “We had people coming from as far as Fort Branch, Evansville, Lawrenceville, Petersburg, we had people coming from all over.”

While the adoption sale has wrapped up, Arial says she hopes others will realize the true purpose behind the event.

“It’s not just our shelter, we want to save all of the dogs in our community, but whenever a shelter holds an event like this it’s helpful to all shelters everywhere,” she said, “We are a no-kill shelter, we want to stay a no-kill shelter, but we have to have the community’s help to stay no-kill. Once you get full, there’s nothing you can do except for adopt them out or send them off to rescues, and if all of those options are gone there’s only one option left. So we need the community’s help to stay successful.”

As for the future, Arial says they hope to hold a similar event next year. In the meantime, they’ll continue to monitor the adoptions from the weekend and follow-up with owners to see how things are going.

While the empty space is a good problem to have, the animal rescue industry is a revolving door. That’s why Arial says they are continuing preparations for adding new animals to their facility.

“We’ve had some time now, a few days, to do a little bit of extra scrubbing and a little bit of extra cleaning, some projects we’ve been trying to work on so that’s always really great,” she said, “Of course we get new dogs and cats in every single day. As soon as we’ve held them for the proper amount of time, they get spayed, neutered and vaccinated, then they’ll be available for adoption and we’ll kind of go on like we’ve been going.”