May 14, 2009 in Washington Voices

Adoption festival seeks good homes

Animal agencies team up for event
By The Spokesman-Review
 
J. Rayniak photo

An unnamed cat, above, and Sisco, left, are among pets that will be waiting to be adopted during the Super Pet Adoption Festival this weekend. .
(Full-size photo)

Parents beware: dogs and cats at this weekend’s Super Pet Adoption Festival will be cute and friendly enough to make even the most resolute parent weak in the knees before childish pleas of “Please, Mom, please, can’t we get a pet?” But there is good news for those who cave – a wag of the tail or a snuggling purr is a great thank you.

The Spokane Humane Society, SpokAnimal and the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service are teaming with several local pet rescue groups to offer more than 100 animals for adoption. The first-ever festival will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in the Aslin-Finch parking lot across from the East Sprague Costco.

“Our goal is to adopt out 150 animals,” said SCRAPS director Nancy Hill. “We don’t know how lofty that is because we haven’t done this before.”

The festival will have mostly cats and dogs, but Hill said there will be a few guinea pigs and rabbits available. All pets up for adoption are already spayed or neutered and vaccinated. The cost of a license is built into the adoption fee, which will vary depending on which group adopts out the animal. Experts will be on hand to help families select the pet that will fit with their lifestyle.

“Animals will be ready to go home straight from the event,” Hill said.

The event will also include prizes, raffles, children’s activities and food. Smokey Bear, McGruff the Crime Dog and the Spokane Indians mascot Otto will be there. “We’re just trying to make it more festive,” Hill said. “The main focus will be the animals.”

Hill said it has been a little odd to prepare for the festival while still going ahead with normal adoptions at the SCRAPS shelter. “We can’t really stockpile animals for the event,” she said.

The Humane Society has been preparing some animals by performing the spay/neuter operations, and several SCRAPS animals were at the vet on Tuesday for their procedure. Others were still in their cages, wagging hopefully at visitors and waiting for their chance to impress a prospective new owner. The dogs selected to take part in the festival are all easy-going, including a couple friendly pit bulls, an eager jet-black hound and a roly-poly black lab.

While those considering adopting a shelter pet are usually encouraged to make sure the new addition will get along with pets already in the home, Hill said people should leave their pets at home this weekend. There will be too many animals in a small, busy space for any introductions. Most organizations have a one- or two-week period during which returns are allowed if the new addition doesn’t get along with existing pets.

An army of volunteers will make sure the animals are fed, watered and walked during the two-day event. The animals will be returned to the shelters overnight.


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