County Animal Shelters Lower Cat Adoption Rates in Exchange for Socks

RIVERSIDE (CNS) - All four shelters operated by the Riverside County Department of Animal Services will cut rates on cat adoptions this month exclusively for adopters who bring packages of new socks as part of a donation drive to help the county's homeless.

The ``Socks for Sox'' campaign will run until Oct. 31, during which time, anyone who visits the Blythe Animal Shelter, the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms, the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus or the Western Riverside County Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley will be able to adopt a feline for a flat $20 in exchange for dropping off a package of socks.

``We chose `Socks for Sox' since `Sox' has been such a popular name for cats,'' said Jackie Schart, who oversees pet adoptions at the Jurupa Valley shelter. ``We figured `Socks for Sox' would be a memorable name ... It's playful, but we understand that homelessness is a serious issue, and we want to do our part to help those in need.''

The customary cat adoption rates run between $25 and $65, depending on the age of the animal. There are other fees for spaying/neutering, licensing and microchipping.

``All of our shelter animals are homeless until that wonderful day when someone adopts,'' Schart said. ``Although we would not want to compare homeless pets with people living on the streets, we do have a full appreciation of this serious problem.''

She recalled many instances in which dispossessed people came to reclaim their pets.

``Some of these people love their pets more than anything else in the world, but oftentimes, do not have the resources to pay for impound fees and the like,'' she said. ``So we try to make that reunion process as easy as possible.''

Officials acknowledged that a donation of socks may not seem significant, but to people living on the streets, they can be highly coveted.

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