Lightning, a pit bull mix, waited expectantly in his cage, his tongue hanging out of his mouth as Humane Association volunteers let him out. Once the cage opened, he bounded into the waiting arms of his new owners.

Lightning was one of several dogs that found a new home Saturday at the Lamar County Humane Association’s annual Clear the Shelter Day.

“We have been the good kind of slammed,” shelter coordinator Stephanie Corley said Saturday afternoon. “I think we’ve adopted out around 40, and we’ve still got some time left in the day.”

This year’s event has been by far the most successful the local shelter has had, Corley said, as adoption numbers have ranged from roughly 15 to 30 in years past.

Though the Clear the Shelter event only takes place once a year, the shelter hosts adoption events each weekend.

Ashlee Myers, the new owner of Lightning, ended up taking another dog home too, a German Shepherd mix named Cowboy.

“We already have a dog at home and we wanted to get her a friend,” Myers said with a laugh. “I saw Lightning a couple weeks ago and really liked him. Cowboy, I just had a connection with him.”

Corley said the shelter remains at capacity, though events like Clear the Shelter go a long way in reducing the stress on them.

“We took in well over 30 dogs this past week, and that’s not really anything we could foresee,” she said. “But the community has heard our call and have been coming out in full force, making this a good day.

“Community is really huge. Adopt before you shop, come look at the animals we have here, and for a lot of them life or death depends on someone giving them a second chance.”

Tommy Culkin is a staff writer for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6972 or at tommy.culkin@theparisnews.com.

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