Pets

After donors come forward, more than 1,000 animals adopted at area shelters

Animal shelter's ramped-up adoption effort leads to milestone

A drive to find good homes for dogs and cats in the city of Sacramento's Front Street Animal Shelter, initiated by a donation from Kim Pacini-Hauch that funded all adoptions from the middle of November through the end of the year, has resulted in
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A drive to find good homes for dogs and cats in the city of Sacramento's Front Street Animal Shelter, initiated by a donation from Kim Pacini-Hauch that funded all adoptions from the middle of November through the end of the year, has resulted in

Sacramento-area shelters ended 2016 on a happy note, after a holiday “sale” of animals funded by local donors.

Sacramento’s Front Street shelter adopted out 1,097 animals from Nov. 16 through Friday, said Gina Knepp, shelter director.

The city shelter was thrust into the national spotlight after it announced that a local Realtor had agreed to fund all adoptions through the end of the year. Sacramento Realtor Kim Pacini-Hauch ended up contributing $20,000 to the effort and helped secure an additional $20,000 from Elk Grove Toyota and Toyota USA, according to Knepp.

The buzz resulted in a mad rush from the public to adopt the free animals, which otherwise would cost between $65 and $85 in adoption fees. Knepp said her facility had run out of animals on certain days, with lines of potential adopters forming early in the morning. On a regular day, the shelter adopts out roughly 25 animals. During this period, Knepp said, the number was upward of 90.

“There’s just only one word: magical,” she said. “It’s kind of mind-boggling.”

After news of the contribution spread, communities from Placer County to North Carolina were inspired to do the same, with donors also stepping forward to cover the cost of adoption fees.

“This became a movement,” Knepp said. “It inspired other people to step up to the plate. We had a positive influence for animals outside our community.”

Front Street has come a long way since Knepp took over the reins about five years ago. At the time, the facility had an 80 percent kill rate. By comparison, officials expect to close out 2016 with an 85 percent save rate.

The Placer SPCA secured donors who paid for the adoption fees in December. The nonprofit had a 35 percent increase in adoptions and ended up finding homes for 295 animals, said CEO Leilani Fratis.

“The inspiration of that one community led to a desire in our donors in our community,” Fratis said, adding that she was especially grateful for the support of donors Elizabeth Laverty and Kevin Williamson of Rocklin.

The couple contributed $10,000 to cover the adoption fees, which can total up to $300 at the Placer SPCA.

Richard Chang: 916-321-1018, @RichardYChang

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