Henry County man pays for adoptions for other people, wants to pay it forward

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HENRY COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) Having a pet can be expensive and sometimes, the cost of buying a pet prevents some people from ever having that companionship.

One Henry County man is trying to change that. He's been paying for adoption fees for people for several years now.

"They're not pets. They are part of the family," says Gordon Barrett.

Gordon Barrett is an animal lover. He loves animals so much he wants all of the ones that enter the SPCA to find their forever home.

In 2011, he started paying adoption fees for people.

"I helped get two dogs adopted by paying the adoption fee. Last year, I started again and I wish I could help get them all adopted," he says.

He goes in to the SPCA every few weeks and takes pictures of the animals. He posts the pictures on Facebook and offers to pay the adoption fee if someone will give one of the animals a home.

"Last year, we were able to get seven dogs rescued. This year, my goal is 10, but I think we can beat that," says Barrett.

Many people may think Barrett has all the money in the world, but the reality is, he doesn't. Barrett works at Walmart, and is an independent filmmaker. He just really loves animals.

"I'll save up every little bit I can, might use some of my tax money, to help. I've had other friends say they'll split with me," he says.

The SPCA says it's pretty rare for people to pay full adoption fees for other people, but they love to see it.

"A family gets to take an animal that they really love out, but that family will also then turn around and help some of the guys that are still here," says Catherine Gupton with the Martinsville/Henry County SPCA.

Barrett says it's something he loves to do and he hopes he can inspire others to do the same.

"If I was made of money, believe me, every one of these dogs would have a home," he says.