If they had a “no vacancy” sign outside the pet adoption center at LaHarpe, its neon lights would be flashing.
“We’re completely full,” said Andi DePriest, Allen County Animal Rescue Facility director. “We have 53 dogs and no room for any more.”
Among the pooches looking for a home is Veronica, a white female that reminds volunteer Robyn Porter of Veronica Lake, the 1940s Hollywood femme fatale.
“The dark markings above her (left) eye look like the hair that always was over Veronica Lake’s eye,” Porter observed.
Other dogs come in many colors, sizes and descriptions, and to a one possess cheery dispositions.
Also up for adoption are 29 cats. They, too, could become part of a family without a whimper.
WHEN FACED with overcrowding earlier this month, DePriest and ACARF board members came up with a deal: The $99 adoption fee would be waived for all animals for the rest of the month.
Also, the first 10 dogs picked for new homes will be spayed or neutered for free, a savings of $50.
“We’ve had two dogs adopted since the special was announced,” DePriest said. “We’d like to move a lot more.”
Smaller dogs are the more popular pick.
“That’s understandable,” DePriest said.
“Larger dogs are better outdoors and on farms — and farmers usually already have a dog if they want one.”
Adoptions may be arranged by telephone, 496-3647, by going to the facility during business hours, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, or by appointment at other times.
SINCE opening last July, ACARF has taken in 220 dogs and 80 cats.
Better than 40 percent of the dogs, 92, have been adopted out. Another 34 strays were returned to owners. Twenty-five dogs have been euthanized — an outcome that DePriest and her helpers do their best to avoid — while 14 full-blooded dogs have been sent to rescue centers in metropolitan areas, including Chicago and Colorado.
“We also have a few dogs in foster care,” she said.
Of the 80 cats, 39 have been adopted and one was returned to its owner.
About 90 percent of the dogs kept at ACARF have come from the municipalities of Iola, Humboldt, Gas and Elsmore, which pay $75 for each pet turned in. Most cats are either strays or ones brought by owners who have tired of caring for them.
DePriest is at the adoption center each day. Two volunteers, Robyn Porter and Janice Porter, are there about as often.
“Robyn is developing our new website, acarf.org,” she said. “Janice does our secretarial work.”
Alyssa Roush, Chris McCurry and Deborah Kelly help out with pet care and keep kennels clean.