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For the first time in nearly 50 years, a Pennsylvania animal shelter doesn’t have any dogs left after hundreds of adoptions

By Kelly McCleary, CNN

(CNN) — Just two weeks ago, the Adams County, Pennsylvania, SPCA was near capacity as its kennels were filled with dogs needing homes. Now, for the first time in nearly 50 years, there are no dogs at the facility and the recent residents are spending the holidays with their new families.

“To say that we are beyond excited is an understatement! The staff and volunteers have worked VERY hard to take care of the animals in our care and to make sure they got adopted to the right home!” the animal shelter said in a post on Facebook Friday. “This is the first time in 47 YEARS that the Adams County SPCA is empty let alone at Christmas time, it is a true miracle!”

There was one cat taking refuge at the facility, the shelter said – a stray arriving just before the announcement.

The facility in southern Pennsylvania said it adopted out 598 animals this year and reunited 125 strays with their owners.

Nationwide, an estimated 6.3 million companion animals enter shelters every year, according to the ASPCA. Of those, about 3.1 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats.

About 920,000 shelter animals are euthanized yearly, the ASPCA said, a decrease from the estimated 2.6 million cats and dogs euthanized in shelters in 2011.

“This decline can be partially explained by an increase in the percentage of animals adopted and an increase in the number of stray animals successfully returned to their owners,” the ASPCA said.

The Adams County shelter said it would begin taking in animals from other Pennsylvania shelters this week to help alleviate some of their stress. “Right now, we are going to enjoy this accomplishment! Merry Christmas!”

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