08/06/2013 04:17 EDT

Edmonton Humane Society Sees Huge Rise In Adoptions One Week After Closing Doors

SAN MATEO, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: Dr. Linda Janowitz checks a dog at the Peninsula Society & SPCA September 14, 2005 in San Mateo, California. The dog is one of about 1,000 expected to be flown to the Bay Area from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina separated them from their owners. (Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

The Edmonton Humane Society (EHS) has been overwhelmed by the big hearts of animal lovers, less than a week after they were forced to close their doors to surrendered pets.

The shelter put out a call for interested adopters last week after they were forced to close their doors for the first time in their 106-year history when they found they had reached capacity.

Last Wednesday, with 644 animals in its care, the centre temporarily began to turn away pets surrendered by their owners.

However, by Monday, 215 animals had been adopted, greatly easing the crunch, reports the Edmonton Journal.

According to the Journal, adoptions spiked at 66 on Saturday, when almost 70 people waited outside for the shelter to open.

“Usually we have only 15 or 20 adoptions a day in the summer,” society spokeswoman Shawna Randolph told the paper.

“To have 66 is definitely a reaction from the public and we’re just so thankful.”

But while the EHS had success in finding homes for many animals, they also brought in more than 100 stray cats in the past week.

“The numbers are slowly getting better but it’s still finding a balance, EHS Feline enrichment co-ordinator, Vanessa Vattheuer told CTV News Sunday.

“We’re still taking it day by day to see how we’re doing.”

The shelter announced Monday they will now accept surrendered dogs, but has doubled its usual in-take fee to $160 from $80 in to discourage owners from doing so right now.

“We’re really strongly, strongly urging (dog owners) to wait, to not surrender at this time because space is still so limited and it really wouldn’t take much to put us back,” spokesperson Travis Grant told the Journal.

Humane society CEO Stephanie MacDonald told CBC News there are many different animals for adoption, but they are looking for new homes for cats and kittens, in particular.

“We probably won't put too much of a dent into the cat population because that still is one of our challenges in this community," she told CBC.

To help ease the cat population Fort McMurray SPCA volunteered to take 10 cats from the EHS to put up for adoption in the northern Alberta city.

Website traffic from interested Edmontonians crashed the EHS website, but people who want to know more about adoptions, including pictures of animals looking for a forever home, can be found on their Twitter and Facebook pages.

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