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Pet shelter empties for first time in 47 years days before Christmas

The Pennsylvania animal shelter went from nearly full to completely empty in a matter of weeks just as Christmas approached.
Staff of the Adams County SPCA show off an empty shelter.
Posted at 1:27 PM, Dec 25, 2023

A Pennsylvania animal shelter emptied for the first time in 47 years as the Adams County SPCA shelter was cleared out in time for Christmas. 

According to the Adams County SPCA, the shelter was nearly full just two weeks ago. But over the last few weeks, dozens of animals were adopted by families. Some of the families could use a program that helped cover the cost of adoption. 

The shelter had one cat remaining late last week. After a post on social media, a family adopted 3-year-old Maya. 

As excited as the Adams County SPCA was to empty its shelter, officials encouraged potential owners to think about what it takes to adopt a pet before heading to the shelter. 

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"Know that animals are a lifetime commitment and are not appropriate Christmas gifts.  So please consider this before applying for adoption," they said. 

Given the amount of space it had, Adams County SPCA said it would pull animals from other Pennsylvania shelters to help relieve their stress. 

In 2023, the shelter said that 598 animals were adopted and 125 strays were reunited with their owners. 

Unfortunately, dozens of other dogs and cats remain up for adoption at other shelters throughout Pennsylvania. 

Adams County is located about 140 miles west of Philadelphia.