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Animal shelter in Pennsylvania empty for first time in 47 years

An animal shelter in Pennsylvania reached a milestone this Christmas season, celebrating one of the rare moments where less is more.

The Adams county SPCA, which houses dogs, cats and other homeless, abandoned or lost animals, was empty for the first time in 47 years, according to a Facebook post from the shelter, reported by CNN.

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“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!” reads the post.

The shelter said 598 animals had been adopted, while 125 strays had been reunited with their owners. For pet lovers looking to add a member to their family units, Adams county SPCA staff members will be picking up animals from other shelters in Pennsylvania next week.

“Right now, we are going to enjoy this accomplishment! Merry Christmas!” the shelter said in the post.

The shelter was nearly at capacity in early December before they were emptied out on Friday.

CNN further reported, however, that the shelter later said it had one addition – a one cat that arrived as the good news was going out.

Every year, about 6.3 million animals enter shelters nationwide, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a non-profit that focuses on animal cruelty. It said that, within those shelters, more than 3 million animals are dogs and 3.2 million are cats.

The ASPCA reported that approximately 920,000 shelter animals are euthanized yearly, representing a decrease from the more than 2.5 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.