Montgomery County adoption center competes for $25,000 national grant

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CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) -- The furry friends at the Montgomery County Animal Care and Adoption Center could be in store for a very merry Christmas.

That's because the center is a finalist for the Petco Foundation's Holiday Wishes People's Choice Award.

"Past adopters get to turn in their stories how their animal affected them and the impact that their animal had on their life, and those stories get submitted by the adopters and they're selected for grants," said the center's director, Eileen Mahan. "This year we actually won a $5,000 grant."

Now the shelter is in the running for the $25,000 grand prize - if it can earn more votes than the other finalists.

Mahan said the money would go towards veterinary bills and other upgrades.

"We do have a surgical suite as part of the building and we're working on trying to get that outfitted so that we can do surgeries here on site," she said. "A grant like that would go a long way towards helping us out."

The adoption center has had no shortage of public support recently. It received around 2,500 pounds of food donations earlier this month.

"It always ramps up a little bit around the holidays, which of course, people are in a giving mood and we always appreciate that," Mahan said. "The animals, in particular, appreciate it."

Now the center, which has saved more than 1,000 animals this year, needs votes to keep that number rising even higher.

"It means so much to us to know that we're able to have not just an impact on those animals' lives but also so many people and people in our community," Mahan said.

The center currently has around 450 votes, while a couple of its competitors are already in the thousands. To cast your vote, click here.