Home for the Holidays is Final Special Event of 2022
The final adoption event of 2022 begins Saturday at 10 a.m. at Animal Services’ shelters in Jurupa Valley and Thousand Palms.
The Home for the Holidays special features free adoptions for all dogs and cats at the county’s shelters. Spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations and a microchip are all included in the free adoptions, but adopters are asked to bring their ID and be prepared to pay for a dog license if they live within Riverside County’s coverage areas. Shelter hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“It’s our final push of the year to encourage residents that our homeless pets would love to be part of your family this holiday season,” Animal Services Director Erin Gettis said.
Through November 2022, approximately 12,000 dogs and almost 5,000 cats impounded at Riverside County’s shelters found loving homes by way of adoptions, transfers to rescue partner organizations or were reunited with their owners. But the county’s shelters continue to see an influx of stray pets.
“As we have touched on previously – and something shelter organizations nationwide have experienced – the shortage of veterinarians, and access to veterinary care, are reasons for the ongoing pet overpopulation problem,” Gettis said.
“We know there are too many unaltered animals in our community,” she said. “People want to get their pets spayed or neutered, but oftentimes access to affordable surgeries is a major challenge.”
Gettis said all shelter organizations in the U.S. are battling this problem and finding solutions is an ongoing strategic goal. Riverside County has four full-time staff veterinarians in a county that has 2.5 million residents. During the pandemic, many older veterinarians called it a career, leaving communities with fewer options for veterinary care, Gettis said.
Riverside County Animal Services also hires contract veterinarians to help assist with the workload of surgeries of adopted animals, but the demand is much higher than the resources available.
“We encourage pet owners to do their part, as best they can, to combat the overpopulation problem,” Gettis said. “For those that can take in a shelter pet this season, we’ll be forever grateful.”