Metro Animal Care and Control workers called the inaugural year of Operation Silent Night a success. The program helped empty the shelter for Christmas Day by finding some animals a temporary foster home for the holiday weekend.
"I wanted to give him the best Christmas I could," said Christine Caldwell, who fostered a two-year-old black lab named Daren, as part of the program. "We took him home, gave him a bath, and the next day we went to Petco so he could pick out a Christmas toy."
Metro Animal Care and Control also lowered adoption fees ahead of the holiday, resulting in 90 permanent adoptions. That left just 30 animals who needed a temporary home for Christmas Day.
Some of those 30 did not return to the shelter.
"To be honest, I just couldn't bring him back," said Nichole Cornelius, who fostered a pitbull mix named Gandhi. "I felt so bad for him, because even though he was stuck in this shelter for three months he's still the sweetest dog. He still loves. He didn't lose his purpose."
Cornelius formally adopted Gandhi Monday morning.
Shelter workers called the program an overall success. They said the time outside of the shelter helps dogs socialize and unwind, but it also gives those who care for the dogs at the shelter some time off of work for the holiday.
Adoption fees will remain at $25 through the end of December.