COLUMBIA — The lobby of the Central Missouri Humane Society was packed Friday afternoon as people waited to fill out adoption papers, taking advantage of the lowest adoption fee the Humane Society has ever had: $3.
The price was lowered to allow the society to cope with an influx of animals unusual for this time of year, shelter relations coordinator Colin LaVaute said. Adoption fees usually average $75 for dogs and $55 for kittens, but for this weekend, either can be adopted at the lower price.
There are about 120 adoptable animals at the Humane Society, LaVaute said. Within the past two months, the Humane Society has taken in twice as many stray animals than it had this time last year.
The shelter usually has a high number of animals during the summer months and holds a series of adoption events to lessen the influx of animals. Because the shelter doesn't usually have as many pets coming in later in the year, it doesn't generally schedule many adoption events. That led to a high number of animals being sheltered and the society's decision to lower prices for the weekend.
The Humane Society normally spays or neuters and inserts a microchip into each animal adopted. It also offers a free veterinarian visit. The society will continue to do so for animals adopted this weekend, though the $3 adoption fee is not nearly enough to cover those costs, LaVaute said.
"Financially, we're taking a hit," LaVaute said. "But our mission is to alleviate the suffering of mid-Missouri's adoptable animals. We're all about finding a home for the animals, and even if we take a hit financially, it doesn't matter. Our goal here is to empty out the shelter."
Fifty animals were adopted on Friday, he said, beating the shelter's previous record of 44 animals being adopted in one day.
Andy and Lucinda Levings were among the people at the Humane Society on Friday afternoon. Lucinda said the price for the animals was unbeatable.
Andy said they probably wouldn't leave with a new addition to the family that day, but they planned to return.
"We'll be back throughout the weekend," he said. "It's definitely possible."
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