SOHO, Manhattan (PIX11) – It’s raining cats and dogs at animal shelters across the country and they need your help. They are filled to the brim because of the pandemic. And now Best Friends Lifesaving Center is waiving adoption fees to encourage you to bring a furry friend home.

Chemeeka Weldon-King and her 17-year-old daughter Zaria are clearly cat lovers. They came to Best Friends Lifesaving Center in SoHo on National Pet Adoption Weekend to see who they might add to their furry feline family.

“We have two adults but the older is 17,” said Chemeeka Weldon-King, a Morrisania resident. “We wanted to get a new friend being that I don’t know how much time I have with my 17-year-old. So maybe a new friend, maybe.”

The adoption fees for all cats and dogs over 6 months old at Best Friends Lifesaving Center and at other no-kill rescue groups are being waived this weekend to encourage pet adoptions because there is a crisis in animal shelters across the country caused by the pandemic.

“Unfortunately, intake is outpacing adoptions, so we are seeing that crisis,” said Best Friends Animal Society spokesperson Hannah Stember. “There are too many animals in shelters and, unfortunately, when shelters run out of space they have to kill animals because they are obligated to take in the public’s animals.”

Four-month-old Roxy is the leader of a pack of four terrier mixes who just arrived from the south. She is super cuddly and affectionate and really in need of a loving forever home.

“To me, coming home to an animal-less home is depressing,” said Kathy Posekel, a longtime volunteer. “I think these guys add so much unconditional love. It’s the best. I can’t imagine not having somebody.”

And neither could another couple who thought they would be going home with one cat but didn’t know it was pet adoption weekend. So now 3-year-old Justice and 3-month-old Avery are theirs.

“We got lucky with the timing. We’ve been wanting to get one for a while,” said Hell’s Kitchen resident Michael Fitzgerald.

“We’re a little excited and surprised to bring home two today,” said Addie Dinsmoor, Fitzgerald’s partner.

Besides Best Friends Lifesaving Center, three other local rescue groups, Kittykind, Inc., Muddy Paws Rescue and Waggytail Rescue, are also waiving adoption fees July 22-24.

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