— -- For once, the shelter was completely silent.
That silence, said Christine Fatheree, was the best sound of all. Because it meant that every single dog and cat at the Summit County Animal Control, where she's the director, had a home.
The facility, located in Akron, Ohio, held its sixth annual adopt-a-thon on Saturday. This was the first time every animal found a home.
"The line started at 6:30 in the morning," said Fatheree. "People brought lounge chairs. By the time we opened at 10, the line was 300 people long."
The 93 animals were adopted out in the first 90 minutes of the event.
"Usually there's at least six or seven that don't find a home," Fatheree said. She credits this year's success to the "amazing" staff and volunteers, the advertising done by the communications department and the power of social media.
"People were coming from pretty far away and I asked them how they knew about the event. Of course it was social media," she said.
Two cats who had been there since June and who usually hid in their litter boxes finally found forever homes. And an eight-year-old dog named Trixie, who Fatheree described as a "fat pit bull tootsie roll, so sweet but does nothing" found the perfect owner in a law student who is home a lot and was just looking for a dog to cuddle with.
In a heartwarming gesture, an elderly couple unable to have pets of their own made an anonymous donation to sponsor the adoption of the first 50 animals. The staff chose to keep this information a secret and when it was revealed to the new pet owners that their adoption fee had been taken care of, some were moved to tears.
Fatheree has been in her role for 12 years and said she never before has felt so proud to be a part of something like this.
"It's not like other jobs where things can be put off," she said. "These animals can't wait. They need homes. To know I was a part of this, it is such a good feeling."