Four area animal shelters are joining forces to help dogs and cats find loving homes.
The Humane Educational Society of Chattanooga, McKamey Animal Care and Adoption Center, East Ridge Animal Shelter and Catoosa Citizens for Animal Care are holding a collective Mega Adopt-athon Sept. 9-11 at the PetSmart parking lot on Gunbarrel Road.
More than 100 dogs and cats will be available for a $50 adoption fee, which includes spay or neuter, vaccinations and a microchip, said event spokeswoman Laura Westbrook.
"We are hoping to get 100 dogs adopted from our overcrowded shelters," she said of the event. "We have more dogs than cats in our shelters, but we will have quite a few cats."
Westbrook said shelter populations are typically highest in the summer.
According to Jeanine Cloyd with the Humane Society, the number of adoptable animals in local shelters is high: 300 dogs and 200 cats at the Humane Society; 400 cats and dogs at McKamey; 19 dogs and four kittens at the East Ridge shelter and 25 animals at the Catoosa shelter.
"Litters of six to 10 kittens and puppies have been coming through our doors since spring," Cloyd said. "Economic hard times are also playing a role, with family pets being surrendered."
Spaying or neutering is the first step to solving the overpopulation problem, she said.
"The second step is to adopt from a shelter or rescue group when it is time to bring a new pet into your home, and this Mega Adopt-athon is the perfect time to find the perfect pet for you."
Hours are noon-8 p.m. Sept. 9, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sept. 10 and noon-6 p.m. Sept. 11, and there will be prizes, games and food.
Volunteers, especially groups, are needed. For more information, contact Jeanine Cloyd at HESvolunteer@comcast.net.