Update (Thursday, Nov. 23):
The Sacramento SPCA’s free adoption event had such a huge turnout that the free adoption fund is all used up – far before the anticipated end-of-the-year date.
“We were hoping that it would last through the end of the year, but we had such a huge response that it covered only a week!” said Sarah Varanini, foster care coordinator and social media associate for the SPCA.
A total of 127 animals found their new homes.
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The SPCA says another opportunity for an adoption special is coming on Dec. 9.
Meanwhile, you can adopt black cats for $5 on Black Friday.
All Sacramento SPCA adoptions are free through the end of the calendar year, thanks to an anonymous donation.
The donation was made in memory of Cheryl Lynn Keay, a Citrus Heights resident who died last year at age 60.
The donor and Keay were friends for 41 years, and Keay came to depend on the donor amid life challenges, according to Dawn Foster, Sacramento SPCA director of marketing and communications.
Over the years, Keay’s passion for animals only grew more apparent as she saw herself in those in need, Foster said. The donor wanted to honor her life with the donation.
Though the donor wished to remain anonymous, she left a message for prospective owners on Sacramento SPCA’s website.
“These cats and dogs are helpless and homeless through no fault of their own. My best friend’s and my dream was and is to find responsible, loving homes for all of these animals,” she wrote.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for the animals here,” Foster said. “An adoption fee can be a barrier to potential adopters.”
Now more animals will “get to spend the holidays and the rest of their lives with their new families,” she said.
Adopters still have to go through the application process and meet with a counselor to discuss their lifestyle, energy level and more, Foster said. The goal is to make lifelong connections between those animals and their new families.
SPCA lists 44 cats, 15 dogs, five birds and two rabbits currently available for adoption on its website. The adoption center at 6201 Florin Perkins Road is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays and is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. The SPCA regularly takes in animals from other area shelters, including the city, county, Lodi and Stockton, Foster said.
The Sacramento County Animal Shelter, 3839 Bradshaw Road, is offering free adoptions all month long, but only for veterans and active-duty military. There is an adoption special for everyone else, too: $25 for dogs and cats in November. Cats are also two for the price of one adoption.