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Dozens of animals find new homes following Humane Society's free adoption weekend

Hundreds of people lined up and waited for the chance to adopt a free pet from the Windsor-Essex County Humane Society this weekend. The shelter was offering a promotion — waiving adoption fees entirely — in order to free up some space.

The fur was flying - in a good way - as more than 200 animals were adopted

This boy was delighted after his family adopted "Cheesy Potatoes" the cat at the Windsor-Essex County Humane Society's free adoption weekend. (Windsor-Essex County Humane Society)

Hundreds of people lined up and waited for the chance to adopt a free pet from the Windsor-Essex County Humane Society over the weekend. 

The shelter was offering a promotion — waiving adoption fees entirely — in order to free up some space.

"A lot of them went home," said Melanie Coulter, executive director of the Humane Society.

"It was nice when we walked through the adoption centre at the end of the day on Sunday, there were adopted signs on a lot of kennels and a lot of empty kennels."

In total, 205 cats, 15 dogs, one rabbit and one guinea pig were adopted. 

But, the influx of animals never stops.

"By Monday morning we had moved guys in and had lots of kittens in the adoption centre again," said Coulter. "This time of year is when all the kittens are coming in."

Hundreds of people lined up at the Windsor-Essex County Humane Society this weekend to adopt a free pet. (Windsor-Essex Humane Society)

She said kittens are usually born in April and by midsummer are old enough to be adopted. It meant the shelter was getting overcrowded, and staff knew something had to be done. 

"We had a huge number of cats and kittens — we were basically at capacity," said Coulter. "So we looked at what kind of promotion to do."

It was a successful initiative overall, said Coulter, even though some people were calling her, worried about the safety of adopting animals for free. 

"It used to be something that really worried shelters," she said. "The reality is there has been research ... and they haven't found that they go to the vet less or are cared for less."

Hear more from Coulter on CBC's Windsor Morning:

Hundreds of animals left the humane society for new homes on the weekend. So are the cages all empty now? We'll find out when Melanie Coulter 7:48

Coulter said a big adoption day like the one held over the weekend is an incentive for some people to come early. Five dogs were also adopted the week before.

"The reason behind people coming is sometimes they just like a deal, sometimes it emphasizes that we have a lot of animals and we have a need."

Although it would be nice to offer the pets without a fee at all times, Coulter said the fees they collect help care for the animals. 

Melanie Coulter, executive directer at the Windsor-Essex County Humane Society, said many kittens come to the shelter this time of year. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

"We wouldn't have had 200 people lining up to get kittens and cats this weekend if we did it everyday,"

This weekend, the Human Society is looking to collect donations from the public which will go directly to operating the centre. 

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