Record heat, record animal adoptions on Saturday

Marshall Hillsman plays with a Staffordshire Terrier mix at the Charleston Animal Society on Thursday. The shelter adopted out 96 animals on Saturday

Saturday's sweltering heat wasn't the only event that broke a record in the Charleston area.

Nearly matching the 99-degree temperature, the Charleston Animal Society set a one-day animal adoption record for the month of August with 96 adoptions.

In its third of three free adoption weekends this summer, the society found homes for a total 165 dogs, cats, puppies and kittens.

"This past weekend saved us," said Joe Elmore, the society's chief executive officer.

Combined with the three days before the weekend adoption drive, a total of 265 animals found homes.

In fact, Elmore said the society basically ran out of animals to adopt out - for the time being - due to other animals not being ready for adoption. Some are recovering from surgeries or being held a mandated five days after being received. There also are kittens in foster care that aren't ready for adoption because they need to gain weight.

Sunday's adoption numbers were dramatically less - only 22.

Still, Elmore says the society has 476 animals in its system with many in foster care. The shelter at 2455 Remount Road in North Charleston was built to house 230. And it fills up fast.

"We're a lot like air traffic controllers at an airport," said Elmore. "We can manage to clear a crowded runway, but the planes will keep coming in and we have to stay on our toes."

He encouraged those who came in over the weekend and didn't find a suitable animal to return in the coming weeks.

Reach David Quick at 937-5516.