HAVELOCK, N.C. (WITN) - With the goal that no animal would be spending Christmas alone this year, one local shelter held a Christmas-themed adopt-a-thon, and the community responded.
The Havelock Animal Shelter is a relatively small shelter in Eastern North Carolina, but they had big goals with this event.
"We've heard a lot of people saying they want to get their kids or family members puppies or kittens for Christmas, and we try to teach people to adopt, not shop," says Christian Smith, the lead Animal Control officer.
"Adopt, Don't Shop" was the message Wednesday night as dogs and cats waited patiently for their new best friends to show up and make this a Christmas they'll never forget, for people like Patrick Campbell, it was an opportunity too good to pass up.
"I met him and he was a really lovable guy," Campbell says. "I didn't even get down Cunningham Drive and I called the wife and she said turn around and get him. The whole staff here is loving to the animals, which lets me know they are being taken care of good, so I'll take a dog home from here any day."
Also available for members of the community who might already have a pet was the chance to get your four-legged friend's picture taken with Santa. They were using it as a way to get people into the shelter who may not otherwise come.
"People kind of oversee us because we're so small and they didn't even really know we are here," Smith says.
At the end of Wednesday, the program was a success. All four dogs that were available for adoption went home with families and while the shelter was at capacity for cats at the start of this week, only five cats remain in search of their fur-ever home.
If you are interested in adopting one of those cats, the shelter recommends visiting them in person with any animals or children you have at home to make sure that all adoptions are a perfect fit.
Smith says not only is it better for the animals, but families who do that have a higher success rate with keeping the new pet.
If you would like to help out the animal shelter in another way, they are always in need of donations like food and litter, as well as blankets and towels that help not only animals directly at the shelter, but are also distributed to other reputable animal rescues in the area.