An animal shelter is celebrating a remarkable achievement: for the first time in 47 years, all of its kennels are empty.
The Adams County SPCA in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, says it adopted out 598 animals and reunited 125 with their owners throughout 2023, leaving it with no animals in its care by the turn of the year.
The shelter said they were “overwhelmed with joy” by the news.
In a social media post, the shelter said: “Today is a great day for the Adams County SPCA! Two weeks ago our kennels were almost filled, now we don’t have any dogs in the building at all (we have 1 cat that came in as a stray a little bit ago)!!
“Our community stepped up once again! This is the first time in 47 YEARS that the Adams County SPCA is empty let alone at Christmas time, it is a true miracle!
“To say that we are beyond excited is an understatement! The staff and volunteers have worked VERY hard to take care of the animals in our care and to make sure they got adopted to the right home!”
Since November 1, the Adams County SPCA has adopted out 94 animals and reunited 26 strays with their families, with not one of them being returned to the shelter.
The Adams County SPCA is not alone in seeing a decline in the number of animals in shelters.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reports that approximately 6.3 million companion animals enter U.S. shelters annually, with a decline from 7.2 million in 2011. This is due to a number of factors, including an increase in adoptions and a greater focus on spaying and neutering pets.
The Adams County SPCA is now using its newfound capacity to help other shelters that are still at capacity.
The shelter is providing temporary housing for animals from other shelters, and is also helping to transport animals to other shelters that have space.
You can help Adams County SPCA here.