Animal shelter begins annual adopt-a-thon

WASHINGTON – It was if the animals knew what day it was. Some barked excitedly, as if to say, “I’m getting adopted today.”

It was their day to shine as the Washington Animal Rescue League, in Northwest D.C., kicked off its annual adopt-a-thon Saturday morning with more than 150 dogs, cats, puppies and kittens looking to be adopted.

People were lined up outside the no-kill shelter before its 11 a.m. opening – some, like Sandra Price, about an hour in advance. Price and her son Juan, a college student, never owned a dog before. They recently moved to Berwyn Heights, Md., and wanted a new puppy for their new house.

Price was first in line, while Juan caught up on his sleep in the car before the opening. When she found out that adoption fees were being slashed for weekend and that the shelter is in the running to win $100,000 dollars through the ASPCA, Price laughed and said, “In that case, I can adopt two (puppies).”

The adopt-a-thon kicked off this shelter’s participation in the ASPCA’s Rachel Ray $100K Challenge, a nationwide competition that runs through August. Matt Williams, WARL’s chief communications officer, says the shelter that adopts out the most animals for their size will win a $100,000 grant.

Williams say getting the grant money would be a great option for the shelter since it doesn’t receive any government money and runs only on donations. “So every nickel counts.”

For the weekend, adoption fees for kittens younger than six months have been reduced from $50 to $10; for cats more than six months old, from $50 to $25. If you adopt a second cat, the second fee is waived.

For puppies, the adoption fee has been reduced from $300 to $200; for dogs more than six months old, from $150 to $100. New puppy owners get a free puppy class.

And if you adopt an animal, you get to spin a wheel and win prizes such as a free ID tag or another 50 percent off an adoption fee. Williams says all the animals up for adoption have been spayed or neutered, have been micro-chipped and are up to date on all vaccines.

The adopt-a-thon runs through Sunday at 5 p.m.

By the way, Juan and his mom adopted a little two-month old Lab/Retriever mix.

For more on the Washington Animal Rescue League, go to http://www.warl.org.

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