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Overflowing Pet Shelters Present the Purrrfect Storm

Shelters in the area offer discounted adoption fees and other incentives for prospective pet parents.

Silicon Valley animal shelters are overflowing with potential pets —and with campaigning to get the public to take them into their homes.

The Humane Society of Silicon Valley is in the midst of its “Empty Our Shelters Challenge”, through which it partnered with five shelters in the region. With the tag line “Six shelters, one goal”, shelters from Palo Alto to Morgan Hill are offering special prices as incentives to adopt puppies, kittens, and older animals through October 16.

Some shelters, such as the City of San Jose Animal Control and Services, are offering adoptions of their animals for only $10 each. The Humane Society of Silicon Valley has a special two-for-one deal: two kittens for the price of one, or a total of $175.

“I’m proud of what this group has accomplished in saving animals in Silicon Valley,” said Barbara Jacque, the chief marketing executive for the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, of the campaign which began on October 1.

Met with a recession and general uncertainty about life decisions, people are waiting longer these days to take a new pet into their homes, said Jacque.

While the shelters want people to carefully consider their adoption decisions, it has put the shelters in a tricky situation, said Jacque.

Some of the shelters are overflowing by nearly 100 animals past their capacity, said Jacque. The largest outpouring of animals trickles into the shelters during the Fourth of July, when many unidentified, frightened animals scurried away from their owners, and had to be rescued by local shelters.

Many of the animals at the shelter “come to us as puppies or kittens and Humane Society Silicon Valley volunteers have bottle-fed, held, nurtured and trained them,” said Jennifer Simonsen, who handles public relations for the Humane Society of Silicon Valley. “Others have been relinquished by their owners to us or our area shelters.”

In 2010, almost 9,000 animals in Silicon Valley were euthanized because homes couldn’t be found for them. Still, all healthy animals have been put into homes, said Jacque.

For those who adopt, the Humane Society offers medical care, including spaying/neutering, vaccinations, and micro-chipping. There are also animal socialization classes.

Adoption is available at Santa Clara County Animal Shelter, City of Palo Alto Animal Services, Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority, City of San Jose Animal Care and Services and Town Cats.

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