It's a packed house at the Seattle Animal Shelter.
"We're full to the gills," said Acting Director Ann Graves.
Between the dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and a few other critters as they call them, staff and volunteers have been busy getting animals ready for adoptions. This weekend, adoptions are free, including spay and neutering, vaccinations, micro-chipping, and a $20 gift card to Mud Bay. All you have to pay is the required licensing fee between $24 and $70.
"If we can get the animals that are ready to go, out the door into their forever homes more quickly, then that gives us more space," said Graves.
And more time to take care of the other animals at the shelter for a variety of reasons; some were confiscated and part of an investigation, others are being looked after temporarily because their owners aren't quite able to give them the care they need. It's a balancing act for Graves, who's been working here for the past 17 years.
"These guys are waiting to go home. Come and get them," she said.
Ellen Stanton didn't know it was a free adoption weekend until she arrived at the shelter. She lost her companion just a few weeks ago.
"Twelve years," said Stanton.
She called ahead asking whether they happened to have another Shih Tzu.
"Hey you sweetie, come here," Stanton excitedly greeted her new friend. "I could call you cutie and be very happy."
After a quick allergy check and some paperwork, it was off to get groomed. This yet-to-be-named pup might just have found his forever home.
"I think it'll be just perfect. Just perfect," said Stanton.
One match made; many more to go. Graves hopes for great news on Monday.
"All of the adoptable ones are in their new homes. That would be a great way to start the week," she said.
The Seattle Animal Shelter is open noon to 6 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Many of their adoptable pets are currently in foster homes; you can find a complete list on the Seattle Animal Shelter's website.