How much is that doggy in the window? The one in the Humane Society of Carroll County's new mobile pet adoption trailer.
Hooked onto a pickup truck, the blue mobile adoption trailer features pictures of three cats and a dog with the society's name on the front. The self-contained trailer, which has been in the works for six to eight months, will house 14 cages for pets; includes heat, air and water for the animals; and will soon be traversing the county filled with adoptable pets, said Ken Mays, president of the Humane Society Board of Directors.
The trailer will debut at Saturday's Pet Expo, where the Humane Society of Carroll County will also have adoptable cats, kittens, rabbits and guinea pigs available.
Opening the doors on the sides of the trailer allows you to see all of the available pets through the plexiglass windows.
"The trailer is a showcase and is pretty impressive. The cages are on the inside and you can see everything on the inside," Mays said. "You see that 'puppy in the window.'"
Once everything is in order, the Humane Society hopes to have a functional schedule to inform people about when and where the trailer will be located so they can adopt a pet. The idea is to make it more convenient for the community located further from the Humane Society's brick-and-mortar location in Westminster to adopt a pet in places like Eldersburg, New Windsor or Mount Airy.
All of the pets can be adopted on-site and full paperwork will be provided for each animal, Mays said.
"This trailer will help boost community awareness and adoptions of pets," Mays said.
The trailer will mainly house cats and other small animals and the occasional small dog, according to Executive Director Nicky Ratliff.
"Since we do not find many homes for adoptable cats, we will have more cats in the trailer," she said. "I am in great hope that we will run out of cats and when that happens we can work with other rescue groups to help them with their adoptable pets."
The Humane Society is always looking for volunteers and will especially need volunteers to help run the adoption trailer, Mays said.
Hoping to expand the uses of the trailer, the Humane Society wants to eventually do things such as micro-chipping and to use the trailer as an educational tool, according to Mays.
"We will hopefully be able to have all the pets adopted, and once that happens we can move on to using the trailer for other things," said Mays.
The mobile adoption trailer was funded mostly by donations. A $40,000 donation from a single donor covered most of the cost, and the pickup truck that hauls the trailer was donated as well, according to Ratliff. The Humane Society then put $10,000 of citizen donations into transforming the trailer. The finished product value comes to $60,000, according to Mays.