PRINCETON — In the spirit of Halloween and adoption, guests visited the Mercer County Animal Shelter for spooky fun and four-legged friends, at the Howl-O-Ween Festival, on Saturday.

“This brings the community out to see our facility in the hopes of animals getting a forever home,” Director of the shelter, Stacey Harman, said.

While the event was enjoyable for both humans and animals, the reasoning for the event was far more important than just a fun time. With overpopulation a continual struggle, the shelter has had a difficult time with the number of animals coming in the door.

“This year has been bad on us,” Harman said, “We’ve had a problem with overcrowding.”

With many animals left without homes, due to abandonment and over-crowding, many are faced with living as strays. This then creates sick and malnourished animals that overproduce. In this cycle, the shelter is left with many animals continually in search of good homes.

With the complication of over-crowding, the MCAS staff sought new ways to get the animals into their new homes. To encourage adoption, the shelter waived adoption fees for the first 20 animals adopted, after that the prices were cut in half.

By the end of the day, 27 animals were welcomed into their new families and taken home. While children enjoyed the candy and costumes of the event they also had the chance to meet their prospective new pets up close and personal. Through pets, giggles, and wagging tails, animals and their new families instantly clicked.

Guests enjoyed live music, performed by Makenzie Phipps, and vendors. Also in attendance was the Princeton Police Department, introducing children to the K-9 units.

The Mercer County Animal welcomes any and all in search of a new dog or cat life companion. For more information contact the shelter at 304-425-2838 or visit from noon to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

Contact Emily D. Coppola at

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