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Farmington Regional Animal Shelter offering $5 adoption fees this week


Shelter has 100 dogs, 40 cats looking for a new home

FARMINGTON — The Farmington Regional Animal Shelter is part of a nationwide effort over the next few days to find a new home for thousands of animals.

The Empty the Shelters event takes place May 5-9 at 200 shelters and rescue operations over 36 states, including the shelter in Farmington. Adoptions through the Farmington Regional Animal Shelter will be reduced to $5 during the event, thanks to the national sponsorship of the BISSELL Pet Foundation.

The low-cost or free pet adoption events are something the Farmington shelter have offered repeatedly over the past several years to great effect. The tradition began in 2017 with a free adoption event and continued in 2018 and 2019 with low-cost adoption events.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, no event was held in Farmington in 2020.

"They've always been extremely successful," Christa Chapman, marketing and public relations specialist for the city's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs department, said of the events. "We're hoping that will continue to be the case."

Most, if not all, of the shelter's animals have wound up being adopted during the events in the past, she said, allowing the facility to quickly reduce its numbers at a time when the intake of animals traditionally reaches its peak.

"In the spring, they're taking animals in so quickly because of all the litters being born," she said, explaining that the shelter could be overflowing with animals if not for the aggressive effort to find adoptive families for them. "It helps keep down the euthanasia rate."

Chapman said the shelter usually takes in 400 to 500 animals per month in the fall and winter, but in the spring and summer, that figure balloons to 600 to 700.

The past events at the Farmington shelter have been sponsored by different organizations. Chapman said this is the first time the shelter has gotten a grant from the BISSELL Pet Foundation to support the reduced fees.

More than 18,000 pets were adopted through the nationwide Empty the Shelters event in 2020, according to a press release. Nearly 50,000 pets have found a new home under the program over the years.

Anyone interested in adopting an animal needs to begin by visiting fmtn.org/AnimalShelter to make an appointment. Potential adopters must have a valid email address and complete an Empty the Shelters survey.

Adoptions will take place on a first-come, first-served basis, and adopters are limited to one dog and two cats per household during the event. More information and a list of adoptable pets are available on the FRAS website.

Chapman said the shelter's population on the afternoon of May 4 included 100 dogs and 40 cats. Another 30 dogs and 61 cats were in foster care and will become available in a couple of weeks, she said, so shelter officials are hoping to make room for them with this event.

Call the shelter at 505-599-1098 for more information about adopting a pet. Visit www.bissellpetfoundation.org/empty-the-shelters-donations/ to learn more about donating to the BISSELL Pet Foundation.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or measterling@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.