Joker

Joker, a1-½-years-old, Lab mix, is one of many pets up for adoption at the Burbank Animal Shelter, which will be waiving its adoption fees on June 1 as part of a national competition. (Courtesy of the Burbank Animal Shelter / May 23, 2014)

The Burbank Animal Shelter is looking to double the number of adoptions it made last summer for a chance at winning $100,000 in a national competition.

On June 1, the shelter will kick off its summer adoption events by allowing people to adopt cats, dogs, turtles and bunnies for free in an effort called “Empty the Shelter.”

However, the shelter will conduct its standard screening, where those looking to adopt will be interviewed by shelter personnel to verify, for example, that a large 160-pound dog won’t be sent to live in a studio apartment whose owner works up to 12 hours per day, said Stacie Wood, senior animal control officer for the shelter.

The shelter also verifies that all family members are on board with the potential new pet, and will encourage children who will live in the home with the pet to interact with the cat or dog before it’s sent home.

“We do try to match up appropriately,” Wood said. “We most likely have what you’re looking for. We have a different personality for every family.”

The shelter currently has about 60 dogs and 85 cats waiting for homes, with some of them having lived at the shelter since last November, Wood said.

Last year, the Burbank Animal shelter saw 420 get adopted between June 1 and Aug. 31, and Wood is hopeful about 820 adoptions will be made this year over the same time period.

If the shelter is successful in doubling its adoptions, it has a chance at winning $100,000 from the “ASPCA Rachael Ray 100K Challenge” — a nationwide event enlisting about 100 shelters across the country to get pets adopted, Wood said.

With the winnings, the Burbank Animal Shelter would purchase an RV to transport adoptable pets throughout the community for people to see and interact with as they consider adopting

“We’ve been looking to buy a mobile adoption unit,” she said. A lot of people don’t like coming to the animal shelter… it makes them sad.”

On June 1, those looking to adopt could take home a pet without having to pay a $104 adoption fee, and the cat or dog would receive vaccinations, microchips and go home with a collar and tag. The deal would also pay for spaying and neutering.

“We’re going to do the best we can to empty the shelter,” Wood said. “We want to save as many lives as possible. We want to promote adoptions and avoid having animals bought from pet stores.”

The event takes place between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on June 1.

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Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.

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