Christmas is just around the corner and those wishing to give the gift of a furry companion to a loved one — and provide a pet with a forever home for the holidays — are being encouraged to visit the Sampson County Animal Shelter during special hours this Saturday.
The Sampson County Animal Shelter will be open for adoptions Dec. 21, from 1 to 5 p.m., during which the facility, located off Taylors Bridge Highway, south of Clinton, will be open to the public as it would on any weekday.
“We realized that some people can’t come here during the week because of working hours,” shelter employee Anna Ellis said. “Then we thought about Christmas and this could be something that might be a last-minute gift for someone who really wants a pet.”
The idea arose from discussions between Ellis and shelter director Alan Canady, who have sought more outlets for people to adopt or inquire about adopting. That has included taking animals to the Farmers Market in recent months, in addition to advertising the pets up for adoption on Facebook. In the last few weeks, shelter employees have publicized Saturday’s event not only through social media but by posting fliers.
“We’ve gotten a lot of feedback,” Ellis said. “People seem to like the idea that we’ll be open on the weekend. It will be like a normal business day.”
The shelter hours are usually 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. While there are staff members working during the mornings, they are caring for pets, cleaning the facilities and performing other tasks in preparation for the shelter’s afternoon opening. That same routine will be in effect this Saturday — with a full staff.
“We will be cleaning in the morning and the public will be invited to come see us in the afternoon. Every (animal) available for adoption will be here,” said Ellis. “Normally, two people come in over the weekend (to clean and feed animals) but this Saturday will be a fully-staffed day.”
With the holiday around the corner, shelter officials hope Saturday serves as an opportunity for someone to find that perfect gift in a furry friend, whose life they would be saving. During an average week, the shelter sees between three to five animals adopted and another 10-15 rescued by animal rescue organizations.
“We don’t have a goal set, but I’d love to see 10 animals leave that day,” Ellis remarked of the Saturday event. “Right now, we’re actually pretty full. We have about 45 available for adoption, the majority of them being dogs.”
Canady and Ellis have talked about making Saturday adoptions a regular occurrence if Saturday proves successful. That remains to be seen, but shelter officials are optimistic.
“If it’s a big turnout, we might have to consider being open on a Saturday once a month,” said Ellis, “but we’ll just have to wait and see.”
For more information, the Sampson County Animal Shelter can be reached at 910-592-8493. The shelter is located at 168 Agriculture Place, Clinton, just off Taylor Bridge Highway (U.S. 421) near the Sampson County Livestock Arena.
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.