Aug. 17 is national Clear the Shelters day! More than 1,200 animal shelters across the United States have registered to participate in this life-saving, nationwide event.

The Humane Society of Imperial County is super excited to announce that our shelter is one of the proud participants! The weeks following the Fourth of July this year, the Humane Society of Imperial County was bombarded with hundreds of animals. Some were claimed by their owners, but most are still in the shelter even after their mandatory stray-hold period.

Due to so many of these animals being forgotten and not reunited with their families, our shelter has been operating over capacity with more than 300 cats, dogs and rabbits in our care! As always, we are keeping our promise to never euthanize any adoptable animal due to time or space constraints. This promise has led to major overcrowding in our shelter despite our attempts to move animals out to our no-kill rescue partners and MAJOR efforts to have multiple adoption events every week at various locations throughout the county.

Thankfully, Clear the Shelters day is coming at the right time! This day will give us the opportunity to keep our promise to not euthanize animals for time and space, and find homes for several cats and dogs (and possibly a rabbit or two) that are in our care.

To better help several animals find their loving furever homes, we have decided to lower our adoptions fees by 50 percent! This means that our adoption fees will be $85 for puppies under one year of age, $60 for adult dogs (1 year to 7 years of age) and $50 for senior dogs that are 8 years of age or older. Our adoption fee for kittens under one year of age will be $40, and adult cats over one year of age will be $25. Because we believe that cats are like potato chips and you can’t have just one (but more so because they do better in pairs), for adopters who choose to adopt a second kitten or cat, we will be willing to completely waive the second kitten/cat adoption fee! All of our adoptions include the animals being up-to-date on all required vaccinations for the first year after adoption, the cost of spay or neuter, microchipping with a lifetime registration, one free grooming with Awesome Pawz in Holtville (for dogs only) and one free wellness exam with either Desert Veterinary Group or El Centro Animal Clinic. All of these benefits are covered in the adoption fee.

Although our adoption fee prices will be cut in half for this special day, all adoption protocol and procedures will still apply. This means that all adopters will be subject to pre-adoption screening. Our pre-adoption screening process requires that all adopters show proof of whether or not they own or rent their homes. If the adopter owns their home, our adoption specialist will need to see a mortgage statement or property tax statement that has the adopter’s/home owner’s name and address that matches to a current form of state issued identification.

If adopters rent, we must see something in a rental agreement that states if the adopter/renter is allowed to have any pets where they reside. If their rental agreement does not state whether a pet is allowed in the residence, then a hand-written or typed letter from the landlord must be presented to the adoption specialist. The letter from the landlord must state the landlord’s name and contact number, and that they are giving permission to the renter to have a pet at the residence. The landlord must also state whether there are any breed or size restrictions in the letter.

Lastly, for adopters wanting to adopt a dog or puppy and already have a dog or puppy in the home, we do require a meet and great with the dog or puppy that the adopter already has.

We understand that this might seem like a lengthy process, but this protocol is in place to ensure that the adoption is a permanent solution for the animal and that the adoption process is a positive experience for the animals and the adoptive family.

We will be holding our Clear the Shelters event at our local PetSmart store on Aug. 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. PetSmart is located at 2180 N. Imperial Ave. El Centro.

If you are looking to make a special addition to your furry family, please make adoption your first choice and join us for our Clear the Shelters adoption event and take full advantage of our reduced adoptions fees.

Thank you in advance for working with us to save the lives of the Imperial Valley’s homeless fur-kids!


Devon Apodaca is executive director of the Humane Society of Imperial County.


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