By Syma Chowdhry

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–The animals at the Delaware County SPCA in Media patiently wait to find a home for the holidays.

Lucky for them, there were plenty of people looking for a furry friend.

The shelter opened at noon, but 22 families had to take a number and lined up outside, waiting to adopt a pet.

Alex Welch’s family is getting him a puppy as a Christmas gift.

He waited outside of the shelter since 5 a.m. Tuesday to get a chance to bring home a Newfoundland-mix puppy.

Alex explained, “He looked like a really nice dog and seemed really friendly, so I really wanted him.”

The shelter had 15 brand new puppies and 10 kittens up for adoption on Christmas Eve, in addition to other cats and dogs.

People packed the place looking for a pet.

“Sleeping out in your car so you can get the puppy of your choice requires a little more time and effort but we love that people are choosing to save a life,” said Justine Calgiano, spokesperson for the Delaware County SPCA.  “These animals were saved from high risk shelters, from places where they would have a worse fate.”

The Delaware County SPCA has many rules when it comes to adopting.  One of them includes bringing the whole family for a meet-and-greet.

“It is a total family decision, you know,” explained Calgiano. “It is a family member, that’s what we say.  Pets are family too.”

Alex brought his family. He also brought the family dog, which is a requirement. Shelter staff will only approve the adoption if all family members and current pets get along with the shelter animal.

Delaware County SPCA officials see an uptick in folks surrendering pets after the holidays, but they say the animals were usually bought in a store, on impulse, not pets that had to go through an adoption process.

“We don’t see a fluctuation in our return rate after the holiday, which shows we can really weed out the right families.”

Like Alex, who waited seven hours but said, “I was glad to wait, it was worth waiting for.”

Calgiano added, “When people adopt, less animals die in shelters.  It is just the right thing to do.”

In all, 41 animals were adopted out on Christmas Eve.

Shelter officials said they will have 10 more puppies up for adoption on Thursday.

The adoption fees are 50 percent off with a Facebook coupon found here:

If you cannot adopt a pet, but would like to help, the shelter is accepting donations money and/or necessity items.

Learn more at: 

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