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Puppy story draws animal lovers to SPCA

January 17, 1999|By BRENDAN KIRBY

Dexter Evans and his wife had been searching for Newfoundland puppies, and when he saw an article last Saturday in The Herald-Mail about abandoned Newfoundlands at the Washington County SPCA, he raced to the shelter.

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"As soon as I saw it in the paper and showed it to my wife, I knew where we'd be that day," he said.

Evans, who lives in Maugansville about three miles from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter, said he filled out an application last Saturday and picked up the puppy Wednesday.

SPCA officials said the article prompted a flood of people interested in adopting pets last week. Ninety-two people called or showed up that Saturday, about 60 percent more than the previous two Saturdays.

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The shelter is closed on Mondays, but last Tuesday, inquiries were up by about a third over the last two Tuesdays, official said.

Someone even called from Minnesota, officials said.

"It was great. We had a huge response," said Shelly Moore, the SPCA's executive director. "Saturday and Tuesday are normally our busiest days, but it's nothing like 92 visitors."

Moore said many told adoption counselors they had read the article highlighting animals that were brought to the shelter after the Christmas holidays. Many were drawn by the Newfoundland puppies, she said.

While the Newfoundlands and other puppies were snapped up quickly, Moore said she was heartened to see many of people who came looking for the puppies later ended up filling out applications for other animals.

January is traditionally a crowded time for animal shelters. Shelter managers throughout the Tri-State area said people often bring in pets that were Christmas gifts that did not work out for one reason or another.

Some shelter directors said people also bring in pets in the weeks leading up to Christmas, figuring that shelters will have an easier time finding a home for them.

Although the people who adopted pets last week have helped the SPCA in Washington County, Moore said the organization is constantly looking for good homes for pets.

"It's wonderful. The only thing I would hope is that people wouldn't wait for a crisis and would think of the shelter year-round," she said.

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