40 dogs in need of homes from Winnebago County Animal Services

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ROCKFORD, Ill (WIFR) -- Forty dogs need to be adopted before Winnebago County Animal Services start construction on a new kennel.

"We have an opportunity as a shelter and community to help them find a safe and loving home," says Administrator Ben Frazier. "It's not their fault that they made it here."

Thousands of dogs pass through the shelter each year, looking to change their title's from strays to pets. Frazier says the new kennels will ensure the next wave of dogs that pass by are living in better conditions.

"What we're doing is replacing the dogs kennels in our large kennel room," he says. "The problem with that room is the kennels are very small, single sided, they are only about three feet tall."

The size makes it difficult for staff to clean the cages properly and safely.Creating a larger space will help.

Adoption fees are usually $110, but June 12 through June 15 the fee will drop to $25. Two dogs, Natalie and Tank, are sponsored and will have no fee.

"I think it's important to adopt, you find a new best friend and you save a life," says adoption coordinator Donna Apgar. "We like to have a dog once they're available for adoption to get out of here within a few days."

Tank entered the shelter as a stray in March. "The right fit just hasn't come for him yet," says Apgar. She believes he will do best in an active home environment.

Although foster homes are sometimes considered, the ultimate goal is to find a permanent home.

"We want to make it so the time that they're at the shelter this time is the last time," says Frazier. "The last night they spend here at the shelter is the last night they ever spend at a shelter."