The annual Clear the Shelters event provided a total of 80 animals from the Ardmore Animal Shelter with a new home Saturday.
Rows of kennels were emptied and the shelter ran out of puppies during the national event, which shelters participate in by lowering their adoption rates. Board member DeLisa Taylor said the shelter started the day with roughly 90 adoptable pets.
“The event originated in this area,” Taylor said. “And the statistics behind it show that when there’s a lower adoption rate there’s a lower rate of returns. It just seems to work.”
 Board member Scott Sutherland said the event was even more successful than last year’s, during which roughly 48 animals were adopted.
“It’s been pretty steady all day,” Sutherland said. “In the morning it was really busy, and after a few hours it just became steady.
Following Fourth of July weekend, the shelter was at capacity thanks to a combination of puppy season, surrenders and dogs who likely ran away to escape the sound of fireworks.
“We have quite a few from that, but they also come in every day,” Taylor said. “Any day of the week, we come in to dogs in our pens, tied to our front door, they’ll do anything.”
Overnight abandonment is prohibited, but a common practice. Some of the animals who were adopted out will likely be returned, but most have found their permanent home.
“We will do everything that we can,” Taylor said. “We have a veterinarian, and that’s such a benefit.”
The shelter works with three counties and countless smaller communities to take in dogs that can’t be housed anywhere else. Their large facility lets them take in more strays than anyone else in the area.
“We do everything we can to help them,” Taylor said.
In some cases, two potential visitors wanted the same dog and had to compromise. Danni Brown said her two young sons wanted to adopt puppies.
“These were actually the only two puppies,” Brown said. “Somebody had already picked [the other puppy] out, but she gave them to us.”
The brothers, Trevor and Riley Brown, left with Bella and Bullet in their arms.
“We’re very active because our goal is to not have this job, not have a board,” Taylor said. “We want all those dogs places (to live). That’s the ultimate goal, but in Oklahoma we have to work hard to get that accomplished.”
One of the biggest obstacles they face is the sheer number of cats and dogs that aren’t spayed or neutered, allowing populations to spike. To combat this, the shelter built a low cost spay and neuter clinic last year.
“On Thursday we did nothing but spay and neuter animals so everybody is ready to walk out the door today,” Taylor said.
Low cost spay and neuter services are available at the clinic by appointment. To schedule an appointment, call (580)465-6692.