The Central Nebraska Humane Society in Grand Island says reduced rates helped them get almost 40 animals adopted this past weekend, freeing up much needed space. They aren't the only shelter in the tri-cities struggling to stay under capacity either.
The Kearney Area Animal Shelter has more cats than they know what to do with.
"Unspayed females and cats come in whether they're pregnant or they have a whole litter of kittens with them, we've had a lot of cats this year," says Jaime Jensen, Director of Operations.
Jensen says reducing adoption fees with specials can help move more animals out of their facility and into forever homes. She says they discovered they had 13 dark colored adoptable cats on Friday the 13th, so they're currently running reduced rates on those "lucky" felines.
"The special does help, but I think if people are ready to adopt, they're ready to adopt whether the fee has been reduced or not, and I don't want people to come in just for a cheap cat, I want them to come in to find their forever friend," says Jensen.
Joe Garden, president of the shelter's board of directors, says while the non-profit gets some funding from the city and county, most of their $30,000 a month budget comes from those adoption fees, plus donations and fundraisers.
"We have all the expenses that it takes to run a small business, heating, cooling, employees, plus we have healthcare, and medicine is expensive, not only for people, but for animals as well," says Garden.
The shelter stays close to their 150-animal capacity, and spends $2,500-3,000 on medical care every month.
Jensen says it's tough to balance getting more animals adopted out while making sure they're not going to end up back in their care.
"Just to adopt an animal, that's the minimal expense you're going to pay, but to keep an animal healthy and vaccinated and food and everything that you need for an animal is very expensive," she says. "I think people are starting to realize that they have to be smart about making that decision before they adopt an animal so that kind of puts us back as far as our numbers go."
No matter the numbers, the shelter says they'll keep helping every animal they can. They say 6,100 animals have been adopted out in the past nine years.