Lynchburg Humane Society dog

To say the Lynchburg Humane Society’s Center for Pets is a tad crowded these days would be an understatement.

Right now, the center, located just off Graves Mill Road near Home Depot and Scott Insurance, is sheltering 148 dogs and 448 cats and kittens, with another 353 pets in its network of foster homes. Those animals, when well enough and/or old enough, will come into the shelter to make room for others to enter foster care.

That’s why the humane society is kicking off an Independence Day adoption special for all dogs, cats, puppies and kittens. Beginning tomorrow — the Fourth of July — through July 7, the adoption price will be a patriotically themed $17.76 which includes spay/neuter surgery, the initial round of vaccinations, deworming and a free vet visit. (On the chance that you won’t be in town and miss the July Fourth event, there’ll be another special adoption event July 13 to 14.)

Each summer, according to Associate Director Jill Mollohan, LHS sets an adoption goal to challenge their own staff, as well as the greater community, to increase adoptions and, at the same time, raise awareness of the issue of pet over-population and the importance of spaying and neutering. This year, between June 21 and Sept. 2, they’ve set the goal of 1,000 adoptions. As of July 1, the tally stood at 207.

Summertime always sees a dramatic jump in the number of kittens coming into the shelter, usually from cat owners who haven’t spayed or neutered their pets. Many at-risk pets are also transferred to Lynchburg from other shelters, either in Central Virginia or elsewhere, because LHS has such a tremendous record, as a no-kill shelter, of adopting them out. Sadly, too, summer also sees an increase in strays and owner surrenders.

Every adoption at LHS gives another puppy, another senior dog surrendered, another batch of kittens dropped off in the middle of the night a chance to live and find loving homes of their own. Just consider these numbers for 2018:

» 2,072 dogs and puppies were taken in, along with 2,785 cats and kittens, for a total of 4,922 intakes. That was a staggering increase of 917 animals over the 2017 numbers.

» Of those, 3,763 were adopted while 322 were reclaimed by their owners and 167 were transferred, usually to breed-specific rescues. Only 6 percent, or 280 animals, were too sick and had to be euthanized.

» The save rate for 2018 — the percentage of animals the shelter adopted out or reunited with their owners — was an amazing 91 percent.

The Lynchburg Humane Society is serious about saving the lives of companion animals. If you’re in search of a best furry friend, stop by. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. until 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. The phone number is (434) 448-0088. You can also visit the LHS website at LynchburgHumane.org to view all animals up for adoption.

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