Adopt-a-thon brings hope to pets, families

Published: Saturday, December 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, November 30, 2007 at 9:13 p.m.

Shopping for a pet? The Home for the Holidays 2007 Adopt-a-thon begins today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and continues Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. behind the Oaks Mall near Macy's.

Danielle Holton, volunteer coordinator for the Alachua County Humane Society, said these events really make a difference for the animals.

Last year there were more than 150 adoptions, which was more than half of the animals that were available. This year they are expecting 3,000 to 4,000 people.

"We have everything from 8-week-old puppies to senior dogs because we want to satisfy every shape and size of family," she said. "People are all looking for something different, and we really want to find the perfect fit."

Holton said that adoptions cost approximately $100, but the price is a little more for pure breeds and small dogs.

The adoption fee includes a microchip, which keeps the owner's information if the animal is lost, the first vet visit (within the first seven days), a bag of food, a month of pet insurance and the pets will have all of their up-to-date shots. Most of the animals are spayed and neuter; if the animal is not, you can choose to do so as part of the adoption.

Holton said that most of the animals have been adopted from Alachua County Animal Services; others will come from sponsoring partners. Overall, there will be approximately 250 to 300 animals available for adoption. Two hundred will be dogs and somewhere between 50 and 100 will be cats.

"We transfer them out as soon as we can, so they are not next in line for euthanasia," Holton said. "We do this so they can stay with us until they are adopted. "

Chris Barnes, shelter supervisor for Alachua County Animal Services, said last year there were 3,335 euthanasia cases in Alachua County, in 2005 there were 3,977, and in 2004 there were 4,850. The number of cases has been decreasing every year because of adoptions.

"We have implemented changes so that animals go out the right way rather than the wrong way," Barnes said.

Holton said that people should just come out for the experience if not to adopt.

"Whether you are just looking to go out as a family to play with animals or looking to adopt a pet, there is no way it can not be fun," Holton said.

Sponsors of this event are the partners of Maddie's Pet Rescue of Alachua County, which include Alachua County Humane Society, Puppy Hill Farms, Alachua County Animal Services Haile's Angels Pet Rescue, Helping Hands Animal Rescue and Gainesville Pet Rescue.

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