Pet groups report record adoptions, generous donations during holidays

By Dori O'Neal, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 5, 2014 

Humane Society Kennewick

Terrier mix brother Starsky and Hutch are avaialbe for adoption at the Benton Franklin Humane Society in Kennewick.

DORI O'NEAL — Tri-City Herald Buy Photo

A record 132 dogs and cats were adopted at the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter in December while other nonprofit pet groups reported generous contributions during the holiday season.

"It was a phenomenal month for us at the shelter," said Angela Zilar, director of the Pasco-based facility. "The first 50 of those adoptions came between Dec. 3-13 when we held our free 'A Home for the Holidays' adoption promotion."

During the second half of the month, pets could be adopted for half price. Zilar said the shelter is now the emptiest she's ever seen it.

"Our cat adoptions were through the roof. All of us here at the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter are feeling grateful and blessed," she said.

But there are still more pets needing homes. Photos and descriptions can be found at the shelter's web site at www.tri-citiesanimalshelter.com.

The Benton-Franklin Humane Society, Pet Over Population Prevention and Prevent Homeless Pets nonprofit agencies reported the community was generous with cash and other donations.

Harriet Johnson of Richland with Prevent Homeless Pets was thrilled to received a $12,000 matching grant from an unnamed donor. They will receive the money if they raise an equal amount by this summer.

The group provides affordable spay and neuter services for cats and dogs, with homes and without. It recently opened a permanent clinic in Benton City.

"So far we've raised $7,100, and we have high hopes to make it to our $12,000 mark, which would cover our recurring expenses like rent, insurance, utilities, licenses for the new clinic," Johnson said. "Every dollar of PHP's fundraising efforts goes directly to support affordable spay/neuter services."

More information is at www.preventhomelesspets.org.

Pet Over Population Prevention (POPP) also had a good Christmas, said founder Molly Van Dorn of Pasco.

"We received some very nice donations, though not as much as in previous years," she said. "And several pets found forever homes and that is what is most important to us all."

For more information about the group, visit www.popptricities.org

Elaine Allison, operations manager for the Humane Society, said she's grateful for the public's generosity.

"One thing I find so very sweet is that not one, but two girls, chose to have their friends and family donate things for the shelter in lieu of presents for themselves," Allison said. "And there was a little girl who sold chocolate at the Terra Blanca winery during the holidays who donated the money for the puppies and the kittens, and that just warms my heart."

And though people are always so generous during the holidays she hopes that generosity will be as plentiful during the summer when the agency struggles the most financially, she added.

For more information, go to www.bfhs.com/.

-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @dorioneal

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