A Sacramento real estate agent’s offer to pay for any animal adopted at Sacramento’s Front Street Animal Shelter for the remainder of the year triggered an overwhelming first-day response.
The shelter posted the offer from Kim Pacini-Hauch on Facebook on Tuesday evening. More than 2 million people had viewed it as of Wednesday afternoon.
Bobby Mann, a spokesman for the shelter, said more than 250 people were lined up when the shelter opened at noon, an unprecedented number for a weekday. By midafternoon, a sign was posted announcing: “All cats adopted today.”
As of about 4:30 p.m., an hour before closing time, 20 cats and 21 dogs had been adopted, said Jenman Fong, a customer service representative.
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During “Home for the Pawlidays,” at the city’s shelter at 2127 Front St., Pacini-Hauch is picking up the cost of pet adoptions through Dec. 31. Adoptions usually cost $85 for dogs and $65 for cats.
“Please help us thank Kim Pacini-Hauch for her tremendous act of kindness,” reads the Front Street Animal Shelter’s Facebook post.
Shelter officials hope Pacini-Hauch’s offer will help clear out the shelter’s kennels and cages.
The real estate agent said on her website that in 1984, she adopted her dog Teddy from the Front Street shelter. When she first saw the little bundle of fur, he was a terrified terrier, but once home he was a playful mutt with a penchant for “singing” along with a particular Stevie Wonder song.
When the words “I just called to say I love you” came on the car radio, Teddy would howl along until the song ended, she said.
“I loved him with every inch of my being and have missed him greatly,” Pacini-Hauch wrote on her website.
Pacini-Hauch thanked the Front Street employees and volunteers for their efforts.
Despite Wednesday’s cat clearance, there are still many more to adopt. Mann said about 650 animals are in foster care and will be brought into the shelter as space opens up.
“People are really taking this opportunity to take a pet home for the holidays,” he said.
The pets are being offered for adoption free of charge, but “it’s not a drive-through service,” Mann said.
People seeking to adopt pets meet with shelter volunteers who counsel them on the responsibility and cost of pet ownership and try to match the pet with the prospective owner’s lifestyle.
Before they go to new homes, the animals are spayed or neutered and inoculated against common diseases. They also get a pet tag and a city license, Mann said.
Thalia Orozco said she saw the free-adoption announcement on Twitter and came to the shelter looking for a German shepherd for her friend’s birthday. “He wants a puppy,” she said.
Yosmara Mendoza said a friend’s dog had died and she was looking for a German shepherd or husky for him. She said she had spotted a good prospect at the shelter,
Peaches Hayes and her family found just the dog they were looking for, a pit bull mix about 4 years old. Hayes said the dog got along well with the children during time the family spent with it in an outdoor play area.
Mann said it is unlikely the shelter will run out of pets for people to adopt before the end of December. The shelter takes in about 11,000 unwanted animals annually, he said.
Front Street Animal Shelter is open from noon to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information on animals available for adoption, see the frontstreetshelter.org.