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When Size Matters

Nothing creates excitement—or smashes adoption records—quite like the ‘mega’ event

  • A Midnight Woofness event by OK Humane

    Clowns, crafts, and face painting were among the fun activities at one of the Central Oklahoma Humane Society’s Midnight Woofness events. A freshly painted Gardner, the son of rescue founder Christy Counts, hops on the back of director of operations Samantha Burnett. CENTRAL OKLAHOMA HUMANE SOCIETY

A strange and wonderful phenomenon is cropping up at a growing number of shelters and rescue groups around the country. They’re running out of animals.

"That’s probably been one of the top five moments in my life—to be able to stand in a dog kennel area, and just hear the air exchangers. No whimpering, no barking, no breathing. Nothing," recalls Suzan Bell, executive director of the Bangor Humane Society.

It was March 30, and the Maine shelter was one of many participating in the ASPCA’s Mega Match-a-thon. It was supposed to last all weekend, but they’d had to cut it short.

“The last adoptable animal left our building at 12:30 p.m. Saturday,” Bell says. They’d adopted out 109 animals in a day and a half.

Other shelters and rescue groups are gleefully reporting the same thing—running out of adoptable animals, or smashing their adoption records, thanks to turbocharged events that typically generate hundreds of adoptions, attracting hordes of people with waived- or lowered-fee adoptions, a party-like atmosphere, and the chance to be part of something special.

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