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Joy

Animal shelter celebrates being empty for the first time in nearly 50 years

The silence coming from a Pennsylvania animal shelter during this holiday week is being hailed "a true miracle."

animal shelters near me, rescue dog, spca
Adams Count SPCA/ Facebook

So many animals spent Christmas in loving homes.

For the first time in 47 years, the Adams County SPCA met the holidays with silence. Not a creature was stirring—not even a mouse.

Because this year, every kennel was empty. All the animals had either been adopted or reunited with families, thanks to what the organization called a “true Christmas miracle.”

To celebrate, the Adams County SPCA shared a photo of its employees and volunteers smiling alongside all the empty kennels, and thanked the community for its continued support.

“This year we have adopted out 598 animals and reunited 125 strays with their owners! WOW! It has been a busy year!” the post read.


This miracle comes despite the shelter “discouraging” potential pet owners from adopting pets during Christmastime, as there is a long-standing belief that animals adopted during this season as gifts are more likely to be returned weeks later. (TODAY)

While this belief is certainly warranted (there are plenty of tragic stories of Christmas pets being returned once the novelty wears off), studies show that might not necessarily be the case. In fact, a lot of research has found the opposite—that animals given as gifts are far less likely to be returned to shelters.

And to add to that optimism, several people responded to the Adams County SPCA’s post with pictures of their own fur babies adopted from the organization, showing them in happy, healthy homes.

"Happy Jack who was named Briscoe, is excited to hear the great news!"

"Toulouse (adopted 16 years ago) says Meowy Christmas and congratulations"

"Harper was adopted 4 years ago from Adams County SPCA. So grateful for all you do. Merry Christmas!"

The shelter also regularly adds “happy tails” of adopted animals living their best lives, including Bootsie the cat, adopted in November.

As Bootsie's new parents can attest, the sweet feline is “adored” by all, but has been a “game changer” for their autistic daughter, hope.

"Hope cuddles Bootsie when she’s upset instead of having full blown meltdowns, cuddles him and practices her verbal expressions of compassion, love and affection. Thank you so much for all you do!" their post read.

So maybe, just maybe, we can really believe this was a well deserved miracle after all.

But still, the work continues. As the organization explained in a subsequent post on Dec 26th, other overwhelmed shelters in the state have reached out in need of support. Right now resident owner surrenders still take priority, but they are branching out to surrounding counties when able.

In their words: “We are going to do the best we can to help as many animals and people [as] we can.”

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