Free pet adoption weekend part of national 'Clear the Shelters' event

Shelters at capacity again one month after Jacksonville mega-adoption event

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As part of a nationwide program that has already found homes for more than a quarter million pets, the Jacksonville Humane Society and Animal Care and Protective Services is offering free adoptions this weekend.

The annual Clear the Shelters movement and PetSmart Charities provided more than 150 dog and cat adoptions Saturday to open up space in area animal shelters that are once again at capacity despite Jacksonville's mega-adoption event last month.

Kaiyan Cruz, who is 5, found a feline friend he wants to adopt. He proposes to help mom feed the cat, give him water and change the litter box.

Across the store in the dog section, a Navy woman talks about her new friend, Chopper.

"I have no idea how this face was not adopted yet. It blows my mind," Eileen Faracasso said. "I am so happy to take him home."

August is always a difficult time for shelters for a couple of reasons. It's kitten season, where female cats that are not spayed are having liters. Adoptions also slow down in August as families focus on going back to school and are not thinking about adding a pet.

"Our shelter is open with another 200 to 300 (animals) and ACPS close to 500," said Lindsay Layendecker of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. "We are saying it is a great time to add a pet -- a cat or a dog -- to that routine. And add a companion to that family."

The free adoption event continues Sunday. In addition to forever families, animal welfare organizations are also looking for foster homes and volunteers. To learn more, visit JaxHumane.org.

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