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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Dog and cat adoptions increasing at county animal shelter

<p>Callie, a 4-year-old cat, leaps from atop a crate at the Alachua County Humane Society.</p>

Callie, a 4-year-old cat, leaps from atop a crate at the Alachua County Humane Society.

The lock clicked into place on the tall metal gate, and the room erupted with excited and restless howls.

Visitors could hardly hear their thoughts as the barks reverberated off the walls. As they walked through the kennel, a brown mix named Arya looked up with her one beautiful eye.

Since last year, adoptions at the Alachua County Humane Society, located at 4205 NW Sixth St., have increased dramatically, with 1,025 cats and dogs adopted between January and October compared to 765 adoptions during the same time last year.

“We essentially play matchmaker,” said Margot DeConna, the director of development at the shelter. “Often times, people will come looking for a specific breed or personality of a dog, but we can turn around and say, ‘We have the perfect dog for you.’”

DeConna attributes this to an increase in the variety of breeds and ages of animals it receives, as well as the shelter’s increased community outreach.

Because the shelter does not euthanize, animals who reside there will remain at the shelter until they are adopted. Adoption fees for dogs and cats range from $25 to $175 depending on the animal’s age.

Cody Ballard, 20, a UF marketing junior, volunteers for the shelter’s foster program. He said he was happy to see so many animals being adopted, some of which he had once cared for.

“It’s great to help the humane society adopt out such amazing animals,” he said.

Callie, a 4-year-old cat, leaps from atop a crate at the Alachua County Humane Society.

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