PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Looking for a new furry friend in Pender County? You can adopt an animal without spending a dime in adoption fees.
The Pender County Animal Shelter is joining WECT and NBC for "Clear The Shelters" Saturday, Aug. 18. Dozens of dogs, cats, and even a horse are looking for their forever home.
Jewell Horton is the director of the Pender County Animal Shelter. Between animal control drop-offs, surrenders and neglect cases, the shelter is near capacity. She says a low spay-neuter rate also contributes to the overcrowding.
"Dogs can have two litter a year, they can have up to 12 puppies," Horton said. "We're talking about thousands of animals a year that are not spayed or neutered that are out there procreating. It's a losing battle for us."
As with any big decision, Horton says do your homework first, and make sure you can take care of a new animal, physically and financially. Often, shelter animals will need lots of time and patience to acclimate to a new home and other pets.
"Do your research; your lifestyle versus the breeds that are out there," Horton said. "If you live a very sedentary lifestyle, you work long hours; you're not home much, you probably don't want a high activity, high breed dog."
If a dog is a bit out of your wheelhouse, perhaps a cat may be better suited to your lifestyle. Cats of all ages are also up for adoption at the shelter. Horton says to leave your superstitions at home, as some of the most beautiful cats up for adoption are black.
"A lot of people look them over because of all the old superstitions," Horton said. "It's just not true, and they deserve a wonderful loving family just like everybody else."
Remember the horse as mentioned earlier? A beautiful, elderly mare named Misty hopes to live out her remaining years with plenty of wide-open spaces and patient, big-hearted owners.
"One of her biggest challenges is that she has really bad teeth," Said Horton. "She requires a special diet that has to be soaked, so everything she eats has to be in some kind of pre-made, complete feed form. It takes her about three hours to eat."
As part of Clear The Shelters day, the Pender County Animal Shelter will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All fees will be waived. If you wish to adopt the Misty, you'll need to fill out an application with prior horse experience, and provide references from a veterinarian and farrier.
For more information, you can visit the animal shelter's website.