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Texas animal centers 'empty shelters' with massive pet adoption

By Lisa Maria Garza

DALLAS (Reuters) - More than 2,200 dogs and cats found new homes after animal shelters in north Texas joined forces, waived fees and launched a grand campaign to clear space in crowded cages.

“I had tears in my eyes. We had families with young kids who stood in line for an hour. We had a gentleman in a wheelchair who went home with a really cute dog," Irving animal services manager Corey Price said on Tuesday.

Thirty-three shelters in the Dallas-Fort Worth area participated in their first joint "Empty the Shelter" event on Saturday that was large in scale but still followed the protocols of normal adoptions, organizers said.

"All of our adoption policies were the same. It's not like we waived fees and just let people walk out the door," Price said.

Adoption fees typically run between $85 and $110.

Shelters usually exceed capacity in summer months because of an influx of puppies and kittens born in the spring that are finally old enough to be adopted, Price said.

According to research on fee-waived adoptions by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the practice does not compromise care of animals, nor does it diminish the value of adoption in the eyes of the adopter.

(Reporting by Lisa Maria Garza; Writing by Jon Herskovitz and Mohammad Zargham)

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