56 Animals Adopted From McKamey On Black Friday, But Hundreds More Remain In Overcrowded Shelter
Unseasonably Warm Fall Led To Extended “Kitten Season,” More Litters, Officials Explain
Saturday, November 30, 2019 - by Judy Frank
Rylee Engen, Ashley Engen and Carrie Holley were all smiles Friday as they left McKamey Animal Center with new dog Cape
Long before McKamey Animal Center opened its doors at 10 a.m. Friday, eager would-be pet owners began lining up to take advantage of the shelter’s sixth annual “Name Your Price” adoption extravaganza.
Throughout the day, the crowds remained steady and the MAC parking lot stayed full.
By 4 p.m., when MAC closed for the day, 56 animals – including a bashful tabby mama cat named Persian and a formerly emaciated American Staffordshire Terrier mix christened Amelia by the staffers who saved her – had been adopted, according to McKamey canine supervisor Sarah Muirhead.
The lucky adoptees included 14 dogs, 13 puppies, 17 cats, 10 kittens, one guinea pig and one rabbit.
Next job? Find homes for the more-than-600 animals that remain.
McKamey, which opened in 2008, was designed to hold 500 cats, dogs and other types of animals.
Today, it’s bursting at the seams.
Thanks to unseasonably warm fall temperatures, Chattanooga saw a longer-than-usual kitten season, according to development director Mindy Kolin.
Consequently, officials said – in addition to approximately 250 dogs and dozens of recently rescued rabbits and guinea pigs – MAC is currently home to more than 400 cats and kittens.
Numbers like that are bad news for MAC but good news for adopters such as Ooltewah resident Ashley Engen.
Friday morning, accompanied by her 10-year-old daughter Rylee and sister Carrie Holley, Mrs. Engen joined the lines of animal lovers in search of new pets.
“We came to get a dog,” she said. “We’ve had dogs before, and we wanted another one.”
They got lucky. A 7-month-old hound mix named Cape turned out to be just what they were looking for, and Mrs. Engen happily shelled out $20 to claim him.
The next challenge, she said, will be introducing Cape to her two cats, Blue and Biscuit.
It was a purchase worthy of Black Friday.
The dog Mrs. Engen chose is considered a puppy, Ms. Kolin said. “On any other day, the adoption fee would have been $175.”
Even at that price, she said, McKamey would have lost money. Before going home with their new families, all pets are vaccinated, microchipped, and either spayed or neutered.
“Every animal adopted has received more than $300 in care,” according to Ms. Kolin.
However, she noted, the object of the “Name Your Price” adoption extravaganza wasn’t to make money, it was to find forever homes for as many animals as possible and relieve the overcrowding.
McKamey’s parking lot was full as crowds of animal lovers swarmed the shelter’s sixth annual Black Friday “Name Your Price” adoption fair