Howls and barks echoed through the cages of the City of Bloomington Animal Shelter, while cats nestled into their beds.
Around 120 to 150 animals are available for adoption. The shelter launched its “Home for the Holidays” initiative to find homes for those animals this year.
The shelter lowered its dog adoption fees to $40 and lowered cat adoption fees to $20 from Dec. 8 to Dec. 24.
Director Virgil Sauder said the cat adoption fees are lower because they currently have three times as many cats as dogs in the shelter.
“It could make for a really splendid holiday to bring in a new puppy or kitten to the household,” adoption counselor Jan Grant said. “I think having a reduction in the fees is obviously helpful at any time of the year but especially the holidays.”
Sauder said the holidays are a great time to adopt because people have time off work and school to spend with their new animal.
Sauder invited Koda Bear, an 8-year-old American bulldog mix, into his office. Koda Bear has been at the shelter for over three months since he was abandoned. Sauder said Koda Bear gets stressed in his cage, so he’s been keeping him in his office for a few days.
“This is a fantastic shelter,” Grant said. “But it’s also not the best environment for any animal because they want to be a pet.”
Koda Bear is one of the animals selected for the “12 Strays of Christmas” promotion. The 12 featured cats and dogs do not have adoption fees.
Next to the Christmas tree in the lobby hangs a sign that reads “Lives saved since Jan. 1: 2552.” Sauder said this number represents the number of animals that have been adopted this year.
Following an adoption, owners can pose for a picture under the sign with their newly adopted pet. Grant said one of the most fulfilling parts of her job is when owners find a perfect match with an animal.
“The fulfillment factor comes when it is deemed to be a good match and the animal is absolutely so thrilled and you can just read it in every pore of their little, hairy body,” Grant said.
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