A dog looks out from inside an animal shelter cage.
Example of a dog at an animal shelter, but NOT the dog in the story. Photo from Pixabay

To encourage adoption of homeless pets during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the Riverside County Department of Animal Services is waiving all adoption fees at two of its largest shelters Saturday.

The event, dubbed “Black Saturday,” a play on the phrase “Black Friday” — the post-Thanksgiving shopping blitz that retailers hope will put their books in the black for the year — began a decade ago.

“We know people love the Black Friday specials,” Department of Animal Services Assistant Director Kim Youngberg said. “We don’t want to get in the way of the craziness of Black Friday. So after all that Friday frenzy, we’re here to say, why not visit one of our shelters and add a four-legged friend to the family and make the Holidays that much more special?”

The participating shelters are the Coachella Valley Animal Campus at 72-050 Pet Land Place in Thousand Palms, and the Western Riverside County Animal Shelter at 6851 Van Buren Blvd. in Jurupa Valley.

Officials said the two facilities are crammed full of abandoned, abused, neglected and lost pets in need of a home. The Jurupa Valley shelter has nearly 200 dogs and about 230 cats, while the Thousand Palms campus also has almost 200 canines, as well as 36 felines.

“This year, we are truly facing an overpopulation problem inside our shelters,” Youngberg said. “We really could use the help with Black Friday-like rush of adopters.”

The shelters’ hours of operation Saturday will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

According to Department of Animal Services spokesman John Welsh, would-be adopters will have to fill out applications and present identification to complete the adoption process. County residents will also need to pay a mandatory canine license fee, but other fees will be waived, Welsh said.

The fees vary, depending on where in the county adopters reside.

Additional information is available at www.rcdas.org/index.php/services/dog-licensing.

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