JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hundreds of animals in Duval County are looking for their fur-ever homes.
The Jacksonville Humane Society and Animal Care and Protective Services are hoping to make that a reality this Labor Day Weekend.
Tracey Hughes and her grandson, Kingston, found their newest family member -- 2-month-old kitten Caviar -- in less than five minutes on Saturday.
“We have been coming here for three weeks straight just to find an orange and white cat,” Tracey said.
Caviar is one of more than 100 cats and dogs available for adoption over this Labor Day weekend -- the largest selection this year.
Olivia Spiecker with the Jacksonville Humane Society said the free adoption events help shelters locally and around the country struggling to find room for these pets.
“These adoption events really help us out, help move animals out so that we can also move animals in so that we can do just a ton of life-saving in general,” Spiecker said.
Shelters are dealing with maximum capacity as more people are surrendering their animals.
Spiecker said some of the factors include inflation, rising costs of rent, evictions and rising costs of caring for pets.
“Unfortunately with the housing crisis right now, it is harder for people to keep their pets, but we have resources for people who may be facing financial hardships,” Spiecker said.
A typical stay at the shelter is about 13 days, but some animals, like Fish, end up staying longer. Fish has been at the shelter since July.
Spiecker said from January to June this year: JHS and ACPS combined took in 7,688 cats and dogs. Of those, 5,006 were strays and 1,386 were surrendered by their owners.
That’s why there’s a push to consider adopting or fostering.
“They need a home. I wish I could take them all, but I can’t. But at least we are going home with one,” Spiecker said.
“A lot of these dogs have really amazing personalities. A lot of these cats have really amazing personalities. It is a great way to add a new family member and it is a great way to get involved with your community,” Tracey Hughes said.
Free adoptions continue Sunday at both the Humane Society and ACPS headquarters, and again Monday at JHS.
You can visit the Humane Society from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and from noon to 4 p.m. on Labor Day.
ACPS adoption hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. ACPS is closed on Monday for Labor Day.
All pets are altered, microchipped, and vaccinated prior to adoption. Additional fees such as the city rabies licensing fee, a leash and collar, or a cat carrier may apply.