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Cathy Compton said after going through the heartbreak of losing her beloved yellow lab back in November, she was hesitant to adopt another dog.
But when her friend, a volunteer for the Twin County Humane Society, called her a couple of weeks ago, Compton decided to take in a 5-year-old poodle-mix, Herbie.
“It’s the best thing I could have done,” said Compton, who attended the Pet Adoption Weekend (PAW) event with her 5-year-old granddaughter Kaitlyn. “I highly recommend the Humane Society program, and Herbie worked in just fine in our family.”
Compton is just one example of those who have immediately fallen in love with a pet they found through the Twin County Humane Society.
The Twin County Humane Society and City of Galax found homes for about 40 pets during the PAW event held in Felts Park on Saturday.
Coinciding with the annual Easter egg hunt event in Felts Park, hundreds of people petted, walked and played with dozens of dogs and cats up for adoption.
“We’re thrilled to see these dogs get homes,” said Suzanne Collins, volunteer and former president of the Twin County Humane Society. “Otherwise, many of these animals would have been put down.”
The success of the event was the result of a $10,000 grant awarded to the City of Galax from the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). The first-time grant paid for spaying and neutering the animals and all their vaccinations.
To make it affordable for animal lovers, dogs were adopted for a reduced rate.
The ASPCA allocated a total $500,000 in grant funding to 56 agencies to host an adoption day.
The purpose of the event was to reduce the euthanasia rates in animals and raise awareness about the Humane Society and the regional animal shelter.
Each year, hundreds of adoptable cats and dogs are put down at the Twin County Regional Animal Shelter.
“This event was way beyond our expectations,” said Lauren Self, vice president of the Twin County Humane Society. “And we were very happy with the people that came. We feel that these animals were sent to good families.”
Self said the ones that took home dogs and cats were excited about their choices.
“We had such a variety of animals, many came looking for one thing but left with another,” said Self. “They dogs were so well behaved. We even had one little girl trying to feed hot dogs to one of animals.”
About 10 dogs that were at the event are still awaiting loving homes.
Self said they are continuing to find homes for those animals, and people can find out more information about those pets at petfinder.com, twincountyhumanesociety.org or galaxpaw.org.
“The turnout was wonderful,” said Laurie Merry, president of the Twin County Humane Society. “People have really come together, and it’s nice to see our vets and volunteers for this event.”
Local veterinary clinics and dozens of volunteers, including Galax and Carroll County high school students, contributed to the success of matching pets with loving homes.
“Until Saturday, some didn’t know what the Humane Society was,” said Self. “But we hope this brings us some awareness and helps us grow with new members and volunteers.”
Beginning on Saturday, the Humane Society will hold adoption days throughout the community.
On Saturday, Humane Society volunteers will be at Walmart from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. with five or six dogs up for adoption.
The adoption fee will be $100, which includes all vaccinations and spaying and neutering of the animal.
For the past few months, the Humane Society has been pulling animals from the shelter. To prevent them from being put down, volunteers have found temporary foster homes for them until they can be adopted out.
The Humane Society is in search of more volunteers, foster homes and members.
Right now, volunteers are using their own vehicles to transport animals, but Self said the Humane Society is hoping to get a transport vehicle —possibly a 15-passenger van, from which the seats can be removed.
• For more information about the Twin County Humane Society, to become a member, to volunteer or make a donation, send e-mail to email@example.com or call 728-4038.