The Lodi Animal Shelter will waive adoption fees for the first time in its history this weekend in an effort to find homes for dozens of cats and dogs.
“We are at full capacity again,” Animal Services Officer Jordan Kranich said. “This will help get a lot of these animals out of here and into homes where they can be cared for by someone other than us.”
Kranich said the shelter has 15 cages for cats and 25 for dogs. As of Tuesday, the shelter held 30 cats and 27 dogs, he said.
Adoption fees for dogs are anywhere between $160 and $215, depending on its size, and fees for cats range from $145 to $167, depending on sex, Kranich said.
Typically, those fees include vaccinations, rabies shots, microchipping, heartworm tests and dewormer shots, along with licensing.
Saturday’s fee waiver is part of a nationwide effort, now in its fifth year and initiated by NBC Universal Television, called “Clear the Shelters.”
The Lodi Animal Shelter is one of 12 in the region joining the effort, which includes 1,100 shelters across the country either waiving or reducing their fees.
Kranich said the influx of cats has been due primarily to kitten season in the spring, when several stray cats and those dropped off at the shelter have litters.
“Many times, we’ll have a mama cat that gets adopted after having the litter, and we’re stuck with the kittens,” he said.
Kranich said there are days when he and shelter employees come to work at 9:30 a.m. and find a cat in a crate on their doorstep, or a dog tied to the railing outside the People Assisting Lodi Animal Shelter office next door.
“For dogs, a lot of times it comes down to poor fencing on properties, or owners don’t have the money to redeem their animals once they’re in our possession,” he said. “Sometimes we get an animal that crosses the county line into Lodi, and once we take possession, it’s our responsibility.”
There have also been several times when people bring in animals from Stockton and claim they found them in Lodi, he added.
The Lodi Animal Shelter is not supposed to take in animals from Stockton, but because many of them are not microchipped, Kranich said it’s difficult to prove from which city they actually originated.
In addition, he said many people do not want to take the animals to Stockton because shelters there have a shorter time period between intake and euthanization.
Kranich said there could be a number of reasons why so many animals remain unadopted throughout the year.
“It could be that fees have gone up so a lot of people can’t afford them,” he said. “It could also be because of rental agreements. There are a lot of rental facilities in town that will not allow you to have any pets.”
Animal services is hoping to have some extra help in housing stray cats and dogs by the end of the Year, when the PALS Haven opens a 13,000-square-foot facility on two acres of property near Sycamore Lane Kennels on West Sargent Road.
In addition to cages to house adoptable animals, the Haven will be equipped with dog and cat isolation areas used to separate sick animals and allow them to rest and recover away from healthy animals.
There will also be 11 dog runs, “meet and greet” spaces for potential adopters to get acquainted with the animals, and 500-square-foot open cat playroom, which will have cat towers and a painted tree with ledges for the cats to climb.
The shelter will open its doors at 10 a.m., giving those interested in adopting a chance to walk through the facility and look at the animals.
Adoptions will begin at 11 a.m., and the shelter will accept its last application at 3 p.m., Kranich said.
“Just come in, check in, and if you find something you like, we’ll help you get out the door with a new pet,” he said. “And you’ll be leaving here with a good, healthy animal that you will not have to take to the vet, because all that will have been handled by us.”
All My Tomorrows Pet Rescue, located at 366 Elgin Ave. in Lodi, is also part of the Clear the Shelters campaign this year.
The organization rescues dogs and cats from high-kill pounds throughout the Central Valley — particularly Stockton — to find them permanent homes.
However, founder Eleanor Triboletti does not adopt out of her Lodi location.
Instead, she adopts out of the Roseville PetSmart, as she is a foster-based and trial operation, she said.
Her fees are typically $120 for cats, which includes spaying and neutering. Fees for dogs range anywhere from $150 to $300, depending on size, and also include spaying and neutering she said.
She has nearly a dozen cats and a handful of dogs that will be available at the Roseville PetSmart this weekend.
For more information about All My Tomorrows Pet Rescue, visit www.adoptapet.com/adoption_rescue/85229.html, or call (510) 508-6014.
For more information about the Lodi Animal Shelter, visit www.lodi.gov/animalservices, or call 209-333-6874.
For more information about the nationwide fee waiver this Saturday, visit www.clearthe shelters.com.