Staff and volunteers at the Palm Beach County animal shelter celebrate that one of their kennels is empty. (CNN)A Florida kennel that’s normally packed with stray and abandoned dogs was filled instead with cheering staff and volunteers because all of the animals have found new homes. Friends of Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control shared video of the moment on social media this week and said it’s the first time the shelter has emptied one of its three kennels. The kennel has 48 dog runs that often hold two dogs each, according to Elizabeth Harfmann, the community outreach manager for the shelter. “It’s definitely been a combined effort from the community. The animals went to foster homes, adopters and to our partner rescue organizations,” Harfmann told CNN. “We’ve also seen a decrease in incoming animals, so that has helped as well.” Many shelters across the nation are seeing a surge in adoption applications from people who have more time to devote to a new pet, since they’re staying at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic . Because of the pandemic, though, there could be an increase of surrenders from people who can’t work, lose their businesses or get sick and can no longer care for their pets. “Everyone in animal welfare is bracing themselves,” said Anna Lai, marketing director for the New York-based nonprofit Muddy Paws. Though the Palm Beach shelter has suspended owner surrender appointments, except for emergency cases, it still has animals available for adoption as they attempt to clear all of their kennels. Harfmann said the shelter is holding 79 animals right now, including 32 dogs, two cats, two horses and a rooster ready for new homes.
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