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8 dogs arrive from Georgia as Rhode Island SPCA takes part in 'Empty the Shelters' event

Rosie is among eight dogs that arrived to Rhode Island from Georgia Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (WJAR)
Rosie is among eight dogs that arrived to Rhode Island from Georgia Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (WJAR)
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There are at least 20 dogs available for adoption at the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Rosie and Charm, who are both 2-years old, are among eight dogs that arrived at the East Providence shelter amid the fall 2021 national “Empty the Shelters” adoption event.

“We work with a shelter down south and we periodically bring up dogs from their shelter,” Stephanie Van Patten, who is the director of development for RISPCA, told NBC 10 News during an interview Thursday.

“They traveled through the night and we got them this morning,” she added.

Empty the Shelters is a quarterly event that helps pets find “fur-ever” homes by reducing adoption fees at more than 180 shelters in 38 states across the nation.

RISPCA is participating in the event, which runs through Sunday, adopting out adult cats and dogs, each for a $25 fee.

So far, RISPCA has adopted three animals during the event.

“It’s been very slow,” Van Patten said. “But most of our adoptions happen on weekends, so I think it will get busy.”

Rianna Ramirez, who is the dog behavior specialist at RISPCA, said all the dogs are “super sweet.” She added that Charm was part of a 22-dog fight bust.

“She’s super dog friendly and was probably one of the ones they used for breeding versus fighting,” Ramirez said. “She’s sweet as can be. She’s just sweet as pie.”

She and Van Patten also noted that several other dogs available for adoption are from Rhode Island.

There are Loki and Eros, two 7-month-old male bully mixes. The pair are litter mates and were surrendered locally.

“They couldn’t care for them anymore, as far as their energy needs,” Ramirez said. “They are super dog-friendly. We’re just working with them on basic manners and leash walking. They are good kiddos.”

There is also Rio, a female Anatolian/Shepherd mix, who is just under 2 years old. She’s was also a local owner surrender.

“She’s gorgeous,” Ramirez said. “She has a very intense fear of men, so she needs to go to an only-female home. She would need to be the only pet in the home, but she is dog social. She’s totally awesome on a leash and she can be around other dogs.”

Plus, Washington, Texas, Alabama, and Alaska, are all looking for loving homes.

They were seized from a house in East Greenwich during the summer.

“They were in deplorable conditions there,” Ramirez said. “They all had come to us pretty emaciated. Some were super, super shy and shut down. Others were a little more open and accepting of us. Right now, they are all superhuman social. They do have to be the only dogs, but they are the sweetest boys. Handsome Dan’s Rescue is offering support with them, as far as basic obedience, pre and post adoption.”

While NBC 10 was doing the interview, Colleen Kelly, of Warwick, was at the shelter, as she said she is thinking about adopting a dog. She lost two pets since January.

“I had to put my 12-year-old dog down the other day,” she said.

But she visited RISPCA, saying she knew she’d be in good hands.

“When I was 14, years old, and I’m 50, I came here that summer and I got a great dog, Fritzi, who lived almost 16 years,” she said. “I adopted him back around in 1985, so I love shelters and I love adoption. I’ve had multiple dogs since I was a child, so I’ve adopted in the past. Now, I’m looking to adopt again. I did see a dog I liked, so I want to move forward with the application and get going quick.”

The Empty the Shelters adoption event is hosted by BISSELL Pet Foundation.

The goal is to connect as many pets as possible with people who are ready to give them the homes they deserve.

“Shelters are in dire need of support in the wake of natural disasters and overcrowding due to obstacles such as increased length of stay and slowed adoptions for mid-to-large sized dogs,” Cathy Bissell, who founded BISSELL Pet Foundation in 20211, noted in a press release.

The release also noted that Empty the Shelters started in 2015. Since its inception, more than 61,787 animals have found homes throughout the country and in Canada.

“Our fall 'Empty the Shelters' will support the adoption of thousands of pets across the country, helping shelters in this time of crisis,” Bissell added. “Opening your home to a shelter pet will save a life and create space to give another pet a chance.”

RISPCA is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday, as well as 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

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