The Benton Animal Shelter announced last week that all of its dog cages were empty due to the fact that all the wagging tails had found forever homes.

Manager Terry Parsons said that this is the first time that all the dog cages have been empty in his tenure, which began in 2014.

“I network with rescues and other agencies throughout the country,” Parsons said. “That helps me place dogs.”

One of those partners is Golden Valley Humane Society in Minneapolis, Minn.

“We go there every month because they like our dogs,” Parsons said.

Along with the partnerships, events like Old-Fashioned Day and the Arkansas Coffin Races have allowed the department to bring their mobile adoption van and educate the public on adoption and show off available dogs.

“We even had to bring out more dogs to some of those events because they were being adopted so quickly,” Parsons said.

With all of the dogs finding homes, there are still number of cats available.

“We have two programs for the cats which are working out real well,” Parsons said. “First, we take cats to PetSmart and they are adopted out through there. The second is our barn cats.”

Barn cats are feral, unsocialized or free-roaming cats that cannot be placed in a home environment. Typically thought of as working cats, barn cats are known for helping to keep down rodent populations. While barn cats are known for being able to largely take care of themselves, potential adopters should know that keeping adequate shelter, food and water available for the cat is a must. Also, making sure that anything that can be toxic to the cats, such as pesticides or poisons, should be adequately secured so that the naturally curious creatures will not be able to accidentally harm themselves.

Parsons also attributed the successful adoption rates to the hiring of adoption coordinator Lauren Taylor.

“Lauren has been able to post on Facebook and social media and put our animals out there for adoption,” Parsons said. “It’s helped tremendously.”

Parsons knows the cages will not stay empty for long, but is proud of the accomplishment his department has achieved.

For more information on adoption, contact Benton Animal Control at 501-776-5972.

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