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The Abilene Animal Services shelter is over capacity and offering $125 to rescues through July 3

With Independence Day around the corner, animal officials expect there to be runaways and more shelter overcrowding, so they're hoping for help from local rescues.
Credit: Abilene Animal Services

ABILENE, Texas — If you are looking to adopt a pet, the time is now.

The Abilene Animal Services Shelter is waiving all fees for adopters and fosters all day Friday and that's not all it is doing to help find homes for animals.

The shelter is partnering with the Best Friends Animal Society to provide $125 per dog for reputable rescue organizations who take them in until July 3.

One of the goals of this Best Friends Animal Society is to help remove barriers to life saving and also to help provide resources to help save more animals. The Abilene Animal Shelter has been partnering with the Society for years now.

The $125 is a stipend for the nonprofit rescue partners to pull animals from the Abilene shelter into their adoption programs – it's not to pay adopters. It's a way Best Friends can help the Abilene shelter and the rescue community.

The animal society's goal is to make sure there aren't financial barriers for the rescues to help Abilene make some space in its shelter. The stipends help the rescues provide basic care and supplies while they're working to find adopters. Rescues have to fundraise most of their budgets, and the costs of care for animals aren't recouped completely by adoption fees.

"Right now we are coming into the peak of summer, and so shelters across the country typically experience an influx in both dogs and cats, and shelters tend to be very full," Best Friends Animal Society South Central Regional Director Lee Ann Shenefiel said. 

While the money can only be used towards helping lower the overcrowding, the society hopes the money allows them to work on other projects to help with the overcrowding. 

"In order to help them get more space quickly while they are trying to add capacity to the rescue community while they work other options. So building adoptions locally, helping animals get home with microchips, etc. So this is just another avenue to help get animals out of the shelter," Shenefiel said. 

Mari Cockerell, City of Abilene communications director, said while the funds are not geared towards individuals in helping them make a personal adoption, it helps to make room at the shelter. 

"Any kind of help that we receive as a city and animal shelter to help find homes for the animals at the shelter is much appreciated," Cockerell said. 

The Abilene Animal Shelter is hosting the event through Saturday.