By PETE DELEA
Daily News-Record 8/19/19
HARRISONBURG — Leading up to two events Saturday, Huck Hawaz had high hopes that Harrisonburg-area residents would come out in droves to adopt animals.
The events, Clear the Shelters and Girls Putts for Pets, led to a record- breaking 29 adoptions at the Harrisonburg- Rockingham SPCA. It shattered the previous record of 11 set in the spring.
“It was quite a jump,” said Hawaz, the executive director. “We couldn’t be happier.”
At the start of the day, the shelter had 207 animals, but only 75 were ready for adoption.
Clear the Shelters, which began in 2015, is organized by NBC and Telemundo stations. In the previous three years, the event has helped find 250,000 pets their forever homes.
It was the local SPCA’s first year participating in the event. Each animal had a $25 adoption fee. While the fee for dogs was a one-day deal, the fee for cats will continue through the end of August.
As people were searching the shelter for their new pet, about 100 people were helping to raise money for the SPCA.
The LPGAUSGA Girls Golf in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County held a mini-golf tournament at Mulligan’s Golf Center.
Tiffany Corbin, marketing and fundraising manager for the SPCA, said she’s grateful the organization chose to have the proceeds go to the shelter.
“We’re definitely looking to do more fundraisers,” she said. “We’re open to anyone helping and partnering with us.”
Wendy Kern, co-owner of Mulligans Golf Center and co-organizer of the local LPGAUSGA Girls Golf, said the program is more than just golf — it’s helping the community.
She said the girls, who range in age from 6 to 17, chose the shelter.
“It’s a great cause,” she said. “The SPCA puts a lot of effort to make sure our animals are cared for.”
Amelia Hughes, 11, of Weyers Cave, has been golfing for five years.
She said the pets needed her help.
“I wanted to help them find safe homes so they can get out of the shelter and get loved by their families,” she said.
Evey Strine, 7, of Timberville, said she was hoping the pets would find homes like her dogs, Mickey and Minnie.
“I’m trying to help pets get homes so that they can be loved forever,” she said.
The SPCA brought three puppies to the event and set up a kissing both.
After the event, Hawaz said, a family followed them back to the SPCA and adopted two of the puppies, which contributed to the record-breaking day.