ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Winnebago County Animal Services is preparing for several, much-needed improvements to its facility, but they need to clear the kennels first.

They will be having an adoption event to reduce the population. WCAS has a lot of pit bull mixes, which will have a reduced adoption fee.

The shelter is urging people to consider adopting to help reduce the number of animals in the shelter during construction, which is expected to take nine months.

“A lot is going to change in these next few months and this year to create better space for the animals and for the work we do here,” said Amber Pinnon, adoption coordinator for Winnebago County Animal Services.

The renovations include an expansion of animal housing areas, multiple new dog play yards and an upgraded exam room.

“Making sure we have adequate space for intake when we get animals set up in our system, making sure they get the medical care and the once over for when they come in, and then providing medical care throughout their stay and better housing for the cats and dogs here,” Pinnon said.

They need less animals in-house to make space for the renovations, however.

“Lots of times, we have lots of dogs that are available here for adoption, lots of different breeds and different types, but we think we’ve got a few here right now that are struggling a little bit of breed discrimination or whatever it is that’s causing us to have a buildup of blocky headed dogs,” Pinnon said.

Out of the nearly 40 dogs available for adoption, over 30 are pit bull mixes. Those breeds, like older dogs, are often misunderstood and stigmatized.

“Puppies can be cute, but they do require a lot of a lot of energy and a lot of dedication to help them grow up into a socialized adult,” Pinnon said. “And so, what I do to encourage people to adopt sometimes that older pet or a pet that may not be a puppy, is let them know that they’re kind of saving a lot of time and effort with a dog that’s already established.”

It is important for people to get a dog that is good for their schedule when adopting.

“You know a little bit about what you’re getting into, and there’s not kind of a big question mark on what they’re going to be like when they’re older,” Pinnon said.

Pit bull mixes will have a $20 adoption fee on Thursday-Saturday. Adopters will also get a pack of supplies to help them get started with their new furry friend.