Mar 25, 2012 6:13 PM by Tara Oster (KPAX News)
MISSOULA- A grant from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals distributed $500,000 to animal shelters across the nation to hold Mega Match-A-Thon's this upcoming weekend.
The Humane Society of Western Montana received nearly $8,000 specifically for this event.
"Which is going to be the largest adopt-a-thon in the state of Montana; it's going to be March 31st and April 1st," Humane Society of Western Montana Director Lora O'Connor explained.
They've held adopt-a-thon events similar to this in the past, but O'Connor said this grant helps cover all the spaying and neutering, vaccinations, and micro chips for all the animals as well as promotions for the event.
The Humane Society has many long term residents that the staff hope to adopt out at the event.
"Some of the cats have been here over a year. Like Cucumber who was brought in, in a trap," O'Connor said of a black and white long haired cat with striking green eyes.
The longest resident cat, Missy, has her own Facebook and Twitter pages to try and get her adopted out. O'Connor said Missy is a favorite of the staff and volunteers and they hope she finally finds a home at the Mega Match-A-Thon.
Animals are being transferred in from across western Montana for the event including a cat who has lived in a shelter since 2007 and a dog who's been in a shelter for 2½ years.
O'Connor said they had to make big housing preparations for the animals prior to the event.
"We have over 100 foster families and so they were all called prior to making these arrangements," she said.
The Humane Society's adoption goal for the event is 125 animals. O'Connor said even if someone is looking for a pure bred dog to check out the shelter before looking to a breeder or pet store.
"Up to 30% of dogs in shelters nationwide are purebred," she said as she pointed out a young beagle at the shelter.
The Humane Society also does personality profiles on each of the animals to try to match them with the perfect home.
"The average pet has three homes in his or her life and we want to really try to reduce that number by making good matches," O'Connor said.
The Humane Society will have special reduced adoption fees for this event and those will be unveiled on their website on Wednesday at 1 p.m.
"You know only 20% of pets in a home are from a shelter and there are just so many amazing pets that don't have homes and we really want to encourage people to look at your local shelter," O'Connor said.