By MIRANDA BAINES
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
Lauren Robertson of Conetoe brought her 2-year-old son Lucas to an adoption event Saturday at the Edgecombe County Animal Shelter to let Lucas pick out a pet.
“Probably a puppy, so it’ll grow up with him,” Lauren said.
But when Lucas spotted a 6-week-old orange and white kitten, his mind was set. The kitten would become his first cat, and the family’s third pet.
“We have two dogs that were rescued. One’s a lab mixed and one’s a Chihuahua mixed,” Laruen said. “We’d rather rescue because there are so many (in need of homes). They’re just as sweet.”
The shelter had a special deal Saturday to promote adoption.
“All they had to do was adopt to get a free spay/ neuter. You can’t beat that deal,” said Laura Gearhart, member of Friends of Rocky Mount Animals.
The shelter also reduced its adoption fee from $35 to $25 for the event. By noon Saturday, only a couple of adoptions had taken place, so the shelter still has plenty of animals in need of homes.
“I’m busting at the seams,” animal control officer Eugene Taylor said Saturday afternoon, “1 had 56 dogs and 17 cats when I left to go home last night.”
Numbering among those are 18 dogs and nine cats seized in a hoarding case in Whitakers earlier this month, Taylor said.
“There are so many adoptable animals here that are otherwise going to be put down,” said Kathy Williams, a member of Saving Paws 4ever, an animal rescue organization. “We desperately need a new shelter, we need (more) room.”
Sally Davis of Tarboro Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR), also urged those in search of pets to adopt from the shelter rather than buying from a pet shop.
“Don’t buy. Adopt. We have so many wonderful pets that need homes,” she said. “The kill rate is so high in Edgecombe County. Our kill rate for dogs is over 90 percent.”
Taylor reiterated that adopting from the shelter is “saving dogs’ lives.”
Davis also stressed the importance of spaying/ neutering one’s animals, saying it reduces the “unwanted population” that often ends up at the shelter. She said Tarboro TNR would assist pet owners with spay/ neuter costs.
Katlyn Bottoms, 16, a member of Saving Paws 4ever, looked around at the animals up for adoption Saturday, and said,
“You don’t have to know their story to understand them. They’re all here for a reason. The goal is to find them their forever home.”
Bottoms’ mother Tara Bottoms, brought Millie, a black Pomeranian whose foster was getting ready to turn her over to the shelter, out to Saturday’s event in the hopes that someone would adopt her.
“Dogs need love, too,” said Hydeia Shaw, a student volunteer from Tarboro High School.
She already has one dog, a Doberman named Kobe, but during Saturday’s event grew attached to a black puppy that she named Bella and said she would love to adopt if her mother would allow it.
The Edgecombe County Animal Shelter is open from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and is located at 2909 N. Main St. Those interested in adoptions can call the shelter at 641-4112, or call 641-7911 and ask for animal control in reference to an adoption.
Saving Paws 4ever is selling raffle tickets to benefit the shelter animals. To buy a ticket, email Williams at HYPERLINK "mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" email@example.com.