ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. – Two days into early voting and thousands of people have already cast their votes at Rockingham County’s Board of Elections.
But, unlike most polling sites, voters who get an “I Voted” sticker walk away with a lot more than just a sense of pride.
“I was trying to think of an idea, a campaign that we could do to promote voting and to promote the adoption of rescue animals,” said Tina Cardwell, elections director.
Anyone who votes at a Rockingham County polling site can take their “I Voted” sticker to the county animal shelter and get $10 off the adoption of a pet.
“We think it’s going to be a really good turnout,” said Kevin Baughn, director of Rockingham County’s Animal Shelter. “A lot of people are early voting so we think it’s a good thing.”
Baughn says they could use a lot of help finding homes for the more than 200 animals at the shelter.
“We have people drop off liters of kittens and puppies all the time,” Baughn said.
Baughn says they’ve taken in 500 more animals this year than they did around the same time last year.
“We try our best to get as many animals adopted but when you have 5,000 animals a year come to your shelter, it’s impossible to get all those animals adopted,” he said.
He hopes the sticker idea will help change that, especially with the adoption fees for cats being $15 and between $75 and $110 for dogs.
“You’re getting an animal that’s been spayed and neutered,” Baughn said. “It’s microchipped and up to date on its vaccines.”
So far, no one has used their sticker at the shelter, but election officials say the word is getting out.
“We here have gotten several phone calls about pet adoption,” Cardwell said.
The sticker program will last until November 10.