WAXAHACHIE — An opportunity that a “purrfect” addition to the family will be had across Ellis County and North Texas through the national “Clear the Shelters” adoption drives this weekend.

The pet initiative strives to help rehome shelter animals across the nation. And the Red Oak Animal Shelter, along with the City of Waxahachie Animal Shelter, are taking part in the movement to help those "fur babies" find homes this Saturday, August 19.

“This weekend is a nationwide event where shelters come together and waive adoption fees to try to clear the animal shelters out,” explained Amy Abernathy, Red Oak Animal Shelter’s Officer.

“It’s right at the end of summer, and usually the spring and summer time is our busiest times where we’re at capacity. So we’re trying to find a bunch of animals’ homes all together on the same day,” she added.

“We want to find them homes,” echoed Terri Muniz, Waxahachie Animal Control’s Supervisor. “All the animals will be cleaned, bathed and ready. So just come in, pick out your animal, and we’ll make sure they’re ready for a new home."

According to the Clear the Shelters’ website, it states that over 50,000 pets have found their forever homes in 2016, encouraging adoptions of this weekend to boost the numbers.

For the Red Oak and Waxahachie shelters, the adoptions will include both cats and dogs. In 2016, the Waxahachie animal shelter found "furever" homes for 28 of its 31 dogs and all 12 cats.

“We’re a small shelter, so we have a few dogs but a lot of cats,” Abernathy explained their pet ratio. “We have about 11 dogs and 18 cats that need homes.”

“Right now we have about 12 dogs and seven cats,” Muniz added. “Last year we had about 80 percent adopted. So we’d like to see that again or at 100 percent.”

Though the adoption fee is waived, both shelters explain that the pet must be spayed and neutered once adopted.

“With our shelter, they [adoptees] will have to get them spayed and neutered but will get vouchers for all of their shots with VIP Pet Care,” Muniz articulated that the additional costs would be a $7 micro chipping and a mandatory $3 city dog tag.

“Red Oak in particular, when we adopt out they sign a standard contract, and they’ll still have to have the animal spayed or neutered within 30 days of the adoption at their cost, but the normal adoption fee is $40 and will be waived on Saturday,” Abernathy clarified.

As for this weekend, both shelters encourage the community to stop by and find their forever feline or canine pet.

“I hope we find loving homes for the animals we have here, and that we can make room for more that will come in,” Abernathy said.

“This weekend is a perk and an incentive by waving the adoption fees to see all of our animals adopted and find their forever-homes,” Muniz finished.

To learn more about Clear the Shelter, visit cleartheshelters.com.

To connect with Red Oak’s Animal Shelter, visit 411 West Red Oak Road, Red Oak, or call (214)-399-7730. The shelter will host the event from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

For more information about Waxahachie’s Animal Services, visit 191 Lions Park Road, Waxahachie, or call (469) 309-4150. The shelter will begin its adoptions at 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer

(469)-517-1450