At 3 a.m. most people are slumbering away, but on May 30 and 31, some families were already up and ready to seize the day. It wasn’t Black Friday or any host of other reasons people choose to forego sleep. Instead, it was the biggest adoption weekend of the year.
For the past six years, the Bay Area non-profit Maddie’s Fund has sponsored free pet adoption days across three states, giving shelters the opportunity to adopt out animals to qualified adopters while Maddie’s picks up the tab – and provides extra funding to cash-strapped facilities.
Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority participated in the event, with its first family arriving at 3:45 a.m. on Saturday morning. They patiently waited until the shelter’s doors opened to get the chance to meet a dog they had their eye on.
“An awesome family showed up at the center at 3:45 a.m. with their hearts set on Sonya, a young Basset mix gal,” said SVACA Lead Care Specialist Jennifer Mathers. “Dad and son were playing catch in the parking lot out front when I arrived. As soon as the doors opened, they were the first to be seen and Sonya fit perfectly into their family!”
Not only did Sonya find her forever family, but all of the longer term “shelter guests” were adopted including Lucas, an eight-year-old brown Chihuahua who had been at the shelter since September of last year after being found roaming the streets.
“Lucas went home with a lovely woman who only came in to look with no intentions of adopting, but feel in love with him and had to make him part of her family,” said Mathers.
Other long-term animals finding homes were Isabelle, a two-year-old rabbit who had been at SVACA since October 2014; Jerry who had been at the shelter since November 2014 when he arrived as a six-month-old puppy; Charlotte, a three-year-old tan Chihuahua who was abandoned in a box in December 2014; Violet, a tri-colored three-year-old Chihuahua who was wandering the streets before arriving at the shelter in February; and Panther, a six-year-old black cat who was adopted as a kitten, but surrendered back to the shelter in January because his elderly owner became ill and moved in with family members who were allergic to cats.
“Panther had been patiently waiting for his turn to find a ‘furrever’ family of his own all this time, and he was one of the first to get adopted at the event,” said Mathers. “Though all of us will miss his silly antics and sweet face, we are so excited he is now home.”
All of the adoptions over the weekend had a “huge impact” on the staff and volunteers. “We are all so lucky to be able to take part of this and words cannot even express how thankful we are to the Maddie’s Fund team for inviting us to be a part of such an amazing experience,” said Mathers. “A huge thank you to Maddie’s fund, the Friends of SVACA volunteers, Santa Clara University student volunteers and SVACA’s wonderful staff for making this such a successful event.”
SVACA adopted 85 animals, including 69 felines, 14 canines and two bunnies over the course of two days. In fact, the event was so successful that only three cats, one dog and one rabbit remained at the shelter. Information on the remaining animals is available at www.svaca.com. In total, over 5,200 animals were adopted during the Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days event. Visit http://www.maddiesfund.org/maddies-pet-adoption-days-2015.htm for a complete breakdown.