All animal adoption fees will be waived Saturday at the Lawrence Humane Society, and staff members are hoping to send at least 75 dogs and 100 cats home with loving furever families.
The annual event, which started nine years ago, aims to help animals find loving homes. Fees are typically $150 for adult dogs or $300 for puppies; $60 for adult cats and $125 for kittens.
“Over the last several years of participation, Lawrence Humane has had anywhere from 70 to nearly 200 animals adopted on Clear the Shelter day,” according to a news release from the humane society. “This includes animals who have come into the shelter as strays and never reclaimed, animals who were surrendered, and animals who were transferred in from rural and low-capacity shelters, thereby allowing shelters in neighboring counties to increase their lifesaving rates as well.”
Every animal that is adopted goes home spayed or neutered, fully vaccinated and dewormed, and microchipped, along with a collar, a leash and a starter bag of Hill’s Science Diet pet food, according to the release.
The shelter will be open Saturday, Aug. 26 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — or until all the animals are gone.
“Potential adopters will need to line up outside the front doors and Lawrence Humane staff will allow entrance into the building in waves so that staff are able to manage how many people are on the adoption floor at one time,” according to the release. “Lawrence Humane adoption counselors will be able to help potential adopters assess animal behaviors, such as a dog’s or cat’s compatibility with another pet in the home.”
Elina Alterman, a spokesperson for the humane society, said last year that she has read criticism on social media about Clear the Shelter Day. Mostly from animal lovers with good intentions, she said, they post concerns that the no-fee adoption day could attract potential pet owners who mistreat animals.
“There really is no evidence to support that,” she said, adding the shelter does not see a spike in animal surrenders, abuse or neglect after the event. “A handful of animals” might be returned to LHS, but Alterman said surrender numbers prove no higher than usual.
In 2022, 159 Lawrence Humane Society animals found new homes on Clear the Shelter Day.
The national event is a partnership led by Hill’s Pet Nutrition and NBCUniversal. Sponsors of the Lawrence event include Kristi R. Keefer Insurance Agency, Home Sweet Home Dog Resort, Barnett Law Office, Truity Credit Union, Cork & Barrel, The Roost, Lawrence Pet Friends, and Free State Dental, according to the release.
The Lawrence Humane Society is at 1805 E. 19th St., near 19th and Harper streets. Find more information on the shelter’s website, lawrencehumane.org.