By 4:30, Animal Control Executive Director Mike McGee said 47 animals had been adopted. By 6:30, he said, the number was uncertain as the shelter's computer system could not update quickly enough to keep up with number of people arriving at the desk. McGee said at least 65 animals had been taken out the door (that is nearly half of the animals adopted out on average each month), but it would be Tuesday before a final count could be verified.
"An exceptional turnout," he said. "The parking lot has been full since 10:00 this morning, it continues to be full. I've never seen so many people come out here all at one time, in one day."
The goal of the event was to make the country no-kill for 24 hours. Shelters across the nation put down the syringes and adopted animals out at cheaper prices- Animal Control and the Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society offered 50 percent off of regular adoption fees. Dogs were adopted for $42.50 rather than $85 and cats were adopted for $32.50 instead of $65. People who already owned pets could get their animals microchipped for a discount price of $15.
"What we're trying to do is to get the citizens of Amarillo and our community to understand that Animal Control does care," McGee added, "and that we want to work with the non-profit groups and really try to increase those numbers of adoptions and get more animals out of our facility."
Animal Control took the process one step further. The shelter stopped euthanizing animals the Friday before the event to ensure pet-seekers would have a variety of animals to choose from.
McGee pointed out neither Animal Control nor the Humane Society made money from the event. Despite the cheaper prices of adopting the animals, the facilities still paid the regular costs to spay, neuter, vaccinate and microchip each animal. But as he watched people walk out the door with their new pets, McGee said the event was more than worth it.