Wayne County Animal Adoption and Education Center adoption program

Liam Casey, 4, looks at some of the kittens at the Wayne County Animal Adoption and Education Center. He and his mother, Jessica Casey, adopted a kitten through the center's special free adoption promotion for animals that have been at the facility for 30 days or longer.

Liam Casey, 4, had a dilemma — what to name the black kitten he was playing with at the Wayne County Animal Adoption and Education Center.

Wayne County Animal Adoption and Education Center adoption program

Liam Casey, 4, hugs his new kitten, Midnight. Liam and his mother, Jessica Casey, adopted the kitten from the Wayne County Animal Adoption and Education Center after hearing about the special free adoption promotion for animals that have been at the center for 30 days or longer.

Rooster?

Chicken?

“How about Midnight,” his mom, Jessica, suggested.

“Midnight,” Liam said after musing for a few minutes and then returning to playing with his soon-to-be new pet.

Jessica Casey said she decided to visit the center Tuesday afternoon after hearing about the special free adoption promotion for animals that have been at the center for 30 days or longer. The promotion is an effort to reduce the population at the center, which is at capacity.

The animals will have their shots, be spayed or neutered and be microchipped at no cost, which is a really good deal, she said.

Casey was filling out the adoption paperwork as Liam and Midnight played in one of the visitation rooms at the center.

For Casey, adopting Midnight was more than just a matter of saving money.

“We adopted our last cat, and the shelters are overcrowded, so I just feel like they need to be adopted out,” Casey said. “They should have a home, too. There are so many that have kittens and so many dogs that have puppies that don’t have any homes.

“I feel like you should adopt those instead of going and buying one, and plus he (Midnight) gets a forever home.”

“Exactly,” Liam added.

Normally, all adoptions are $65 regardless of age, species or gender and if the animal already is spayed or neutered.

The fee includes:

• Distemper/parvo and bordetella (kennel cough) vaccines for dogs.

• Feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia vaccine for cats.

• Microchip (24 PetWatch).

• Rabies vaccine.

Also, all adult adoptions for animals age 6 months and older may include the spay/neuter and may include dogs being tested for heartworms and cats being tested for the feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus.

Wayne County Animal Adoption and Education Center adoption program

Cactus Jack looks out the door at the Wayne County Animal Adoption and Education Center, as employee Julie Smith pets him. Cactus Jack has been at the center more than 30 days, making him eligible for the free adoption program.

As of Tuesday, the center was at capacity and had no empty pens, said Graham Price, animal services department director.

“Every pen in the building has an animal in it,” Price said. “I would say probably around 180 (animals).”

Oftentimes in the summer, the center’s population surges as cats and dogs have litters, he said.

“We have several animals here that have been in the building more than 30 days, so we decided to come up with a special adoption event to waive the cost to adopt them,” Price said. “They will still be spayed or neutered, microchipped and vaccines, if they are of age.

“So far it has worked out pretty good. This started this past Monday. So far eight have already left the building because they were already fixed and adopted. We have 16 that have been chosen, but have not left yet because they have not had surgery. But seven of those 16, they were over the 30 days, so their adoption fees have been waived.”

The $65 fee will be paid for the other nine animals.

Another 25 animals that have been at the center 30 days were still at the center as of Tuesday afternoon.

Price said he is unsure how long the free adoption promotion will last.

“As far as right now, as long as we have animals that have been here over 30 days, the special may run throughout the week or as long as it takes,” he said.

Price said he has been surprised by the response.

“Very much so,” he said. “We have done this before as far as an actual event that is nationwide called Clear the Shelters, which is held in August every year. To my knowledge, this department has never done this other than Clear the Shelter participation.”

The center will participate in this year’s Clear the Shelter event on Aug. 17, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. All adoption fees will be waived on that date.

“We will be here as long as there are animals off hold that can be adopted,” Price said. 

The center, located at 1600 Clingman St., is open from noon to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays.

For more information, call 919-731-1439 (press 0 to speak to a staff member).

To see what animals are available, visit www.waynegov.com/802/Pets-For-Adoption.