WINSTON-SALEM, NC – It doesn’t happen often. In fact, Sarah Williamson, Director of the Forsyth Humane Society said it’s never happened in her three years at the facility.
Empty kennels. No dogs barking, no cats meowing.
“Maybe when we first moved in three years ago, but since then, never,” laughed Williamson.
Following an anonymous $5,000 donation to cover the cost of animal adoption fees, the society managed to adopt out 82 animals in less than five days. On Tuesday afternoon, the last dog was adopted.
“It’s magical. It’s the goal to find all of these animals a home,” said Williamson. “We’ve never had that happen before.”
Lines formed each day, when the Humane Society opened its doors. Williamson said the best part of each day, was watching older animals or animals that had been at the society for some time, get a second look.
“From people who might not otherwise had come to visit us or thought about adopting just yet.”
Volunteers at the facility met with each person and screened them before they were allowed to adopt an animal. Williamson called them matchmakers, as they ensured each person or family was matched with the right pet for their lifestyle and made sure it was the right time to adopt. She said they did turn some people away during the process.
But, for the most part, people walking through the doors were matched with a new love of their life. Williamson met several people, going through a tough time in their life; like a father and son who spent hours playing with cats at the society. The pair, who wanted to remain anonymous, eventually adopted two cats.
“They specifically said they had had a loss in the last year and these cats were going to fill up their hearts,” said Williamson.
Melanie Lipani is going through a loss as well.
“I wanted a cat. I came here a month ago, not knowing I was going through a divorce,” Lipani explained.
Lipani’s sister volunteers at the Humane Society and told her about the free adoptions. Lipani, recently moved into an apartment and said she couldn’t afford the initial adoption fee.
“I could never have been more thankful or excited. I’m going to start crying.”
Precious, an all-white, fluffy cat to be re-named Cocoa, jumped into Lipani’s lap, and purred her way into her new owner’s heart.
“She just fell into me. It was such a comfort. She just fit. She just fit,” said Lipani, petting Precious’s head.
Now that the kennels are empty, Williamson is reaching out to others to help adopt out more animals. The society will receive animals from the local rescue AARF and the Forsyth Animal Control. They also reached out to animal shelters in Surry, Davie, Guilford, Davidson and Stokes County, hoping to take in as many animals as possible.
“We are empty now for a minute but we will fill back up quickly,” said Williamson.
A few animals that will come to the shelter in the following days will have their adoption fee sponsored. The sponsorship covers the fee, spay/neuter surgery, microchip, up to date shots and vaccinations, 30-day pet health insurance and a free health exam at a participating vet.
For more information on animals available for adoption and fees in the future, visit forsythhumane.org.