Every Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., the Amarillo Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) holds dog adoptions at the Amarillo PetSmart off of Soncy Road. Cats are available for adoption throughout the week at the store.
“We tend to adopt smaller dogs at PetSmart,” Kelley Mickey, ASPCA shelter manager, said. “I try to pick dogs that are well behaved and don’t act up or bark a lot.”
The shelter has partnered with PetSmart for several years now and the employees of the store are active in the adoption process.
“After the adoption takes place, we have associates that help get food and whatever else they will need,” Todd Repp, store manager of PetSmart, said.
The holiday season is a popular time to bring in a new addition to the family, but also provides an issue for local shelters. The ASPCA struggles to adopt larger dogs during this time of year.
“It’s hard all year long, but during this season it’s harder to get big dogs adopted,” Mickey said. “Most people are mainly looking for puppies and kittens.”
Cold weather during the holiday seasons requires extra care for pets. Dogs can lose their sense of smell during a snowstorm and will also need their feet cleaned when entering the house again. They can accidently ingest things such as anti-freeze, which is lethal to the animals, when cleaning the snow off of their paws. Cats also search for warm places and will often find it inside a car hood and can be injured when a car is started.
“Make sure you keep your pets warm and bring them in at night,” Mickey said.
The adoption process is structured to find the best possible home for the dog or cat. The shelter requires a pre-screening form when someone is interested in adopting. This is so they can have information on the housing and fencing the pet will be around. The shelter will place the right pet with the right living situation.
“I was living in an apartment so I knew I would have to have one [dog] that would be okay in a small place,” Shanelle Webster, junior Psychology major, said. “I wouldn’t ever buy a dog from a breeder. There are hundreds of dogs that need a good home.”
The ASPCA houses on average about 80 dogs and 30 cats at their shelter located off of Coulter Street. They are a no-kill shelter, which means they do not euthanize animals when the shelter fills up. People wishing to adopt a pet from a shelter must provide a valid driver’s license and be 21 years of age. If an adopter lives in an apartment, the shelter requires a copy of the lease with the landlord’s contact information. The shelter is locally owned and has served the Amarillo area for over 20 years. The adoption fee for cats and dogs are $100. This fee includes the animal being spayed or neutered, current shots and a microchip.