Pennsylvania Animal Shelter Celebrates First Empty Kennels in 47 Years

Adams County SPCA’s successful adoption efforts lead to a heartwarming milestone

In a heartwarming turn of events, the Adams County SPCA in Pennsylvania announced that its kennels were completely empty just in time for the holiday season. This marked a significant milestone for the shelter, which had been tirelessly working to find forever homes for homeless, abandoned, and lost animals for the past 47 years. The news quickly spread, capturing the attention of animal lovers nationwide and shedding light on the ongoing issue of overcrowded animal shelters.

A Remarkable Achievement

The Adams County SPCA took to social media to share the exciting news of their empty kennels. In a now-viral Facebook post, the shelter expressed their overwhelming excitement and gratitude for the hard work of their staff and volunteers who ensured that every animal in their care found the perfect home. Just two weeks prior, the kennels were almost filled, making this achievement even more remarkable.

A Nationwide Celebration

The heartwarming story of the Adams County SPCA’s empty kennels quickly gained national attention. Major media outlets such as the Today show and We Rate Dogs featured the news, amplifying the message of the importance of adopting animals from shelters. The success of the “Clear the Shelter” initiative was celebrated as a significant step towards addressing the issue of overcrowding and preventing unnecessary euthanization due to lack of space.

The Ongoing Struggle of Animal Shelters

While the Adams County SPCA’s achievement is cause for celebration, it also highlights the ongoing challenges faced by animal shelters across the United States. According to the ASPCA, millions of pets enter shelters each year, with dogs and cats being the most common. Sadly, approximately 920,000 shelter animals are still euthanized annually due to overcrowding, although this number has decreased since 2011.

Overcrowding During the Holiday Season

Contrary to the Adams County SPCA’s success, many other animal shelters are experiencing a surge in overcrowding. A recent survey of animal rescue facilities revealed that shelters are expected to start the new year as the most overcrowded they’ve been in years. The nonprofit organization Shelter Animals Count reported that there are approximately 250,000 more pets in shelters this holiday season compared to the same period in 2022. This increase can be attributed, in part, to a “cooling off period” following the peak adoption rates during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Glimmer of Hope

Despite the current challenges, experts predict a more positive outlook for animal shelters in the near future. Improved economic forecasts suggest a higher likelihood of increased pet adoptions and donations to shelters in need. This holiday season, spending on pets has seen an upward trend, indicating a growing appreciation for the well-being of animals and a willingness to support shelters and their important work.

Collaborative Efforts and Fundraising Campaigns

In addition to the Adams County SPCA’s success, other shelters have been proactive in finding creative ways to raise funds and support their operations. The Pennsylvania SPCA launched a Taylor Swift Challenge, urging people to donate funds on the pop star’s birthday, December 13th, in honor of her Time Magazine cover featuring her beloved cat, Benjamin Button. This campaign, along with similar initiatives across the country, has generated significant funds to help save more lives and alleviate the workload and financial pressures faced by shelters.


The Adams County SPCA’s achievement of empty kennels is a testament to the dedication and compassion of its staff and volunteers. Their success serves as a beacon of hope amidst the ongoing challenges faced by animal shelters nationwide. While overcrowding remains a pressing issue, the increased awareness and support for shelters, coupled with improved economic forecasts, provide a glimmer of hope for the future. As we celebrate this heartwarming milestone, let it serve as a reminder of the importance of adopting animals from shelters and the incredible impact that each adoption can have on the lives of these deserving animals.

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