Holidays and hugs go together, and the Humane Society of North Texas is joining forces with the Fort Worth Animal Shelter to bring together animals and new owners to share those hugs.
More than 500 pets ranging from dogs to cats to rabbits and a few other soft and fuzzy animals will available under one roof on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 8-9 in the Mega Adoption Event. It takes place at the Will Rogers Coliseum each day from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
“We’re anticipating hundreds of pets going into homes for the holidays,” said HSNT Communications Manager Cassie Lackey. “People will have a little more time available to spend to invest on a new fur-family member, so our hopes are to build and grow families this holiday season.”
The event was made possible by a grant from Petco Foundation.
“They awarded us $25,000 to host this event, ultimately saving hundreds of lives. We needed to partner with another organization or rescue, in order to be able to make this happen. We asked the City of Fort Worth if they’d like to partner with us,” Lackey said. “Of course they were thrilled. We’ve all been at capacity for months. This event brings much hope and anticipation to all our overcrowded shelters.”
The idea actually came from the leadership of both organizations – the City of Fort Worth Animal Shelter and the Humane Society of North Texas. A group first met in the summer and instantly agreed a joint adoption event for shelter pets would be a great event.
“At the time, many animal shelters in North Texas were being overwhelmed with an increase of pets coming into their facilities,” said Diane Covey, Fort Worth Public Information Officer, Code Compliance Department. “Our two agencies had never worked together to host an event, so that opportunity was also very exciting.
“Lack of funding put the brakes on the summer event. But then we had a financial opportunity with the Petco Foundation, and both organizations jumped on it. With Petco providing a grant, and being the lead sponsor, doors opened and here we are.”
Those looking to adopt this weekend will only pay $10 per animal. Anyone adopting will also need a valid ID. Full adoption background checks will be done, just as they are in the adoption centers.
All the adoptable pets have been spayed/neutered, received rabies and core vaccinations (age appropriate), microchipping, include a free initial pet visit (with a participating local vet), along with 30-day pet insurance.
“We all believe in a city the size of Fort Worth, and the surrounding communities, we can find loving and forever homes for these amazing animals,” Covey said. “Every single dogs, cat and even a guinea or two deserve a second chance at a great life.
“We’re asking Fort Worth for their help and support. When we’ve reached out in the past, the community has stepped up to the plate. We’re hoping that for kind of support again.”
The event also includes a parade of sorts. On Friday, starting at 2 p.m. on Lancaster Avenue in downtown Fort Worth. The Fort Worth Police Department, a longtime partner of the city’s animal shelter, is providing an escort – with all the lights and sirens – to Will Rogers. Covey said there will be about 20 transport trucks and vans.
Covey said, along with being a great Christmas gift, this is a good time of year to adopt a pet for another reason – though there is never a bad time of year to bring a loving animal into your home.
“Since so many people take time off during the holidays, it provides a family additional time to bond with their new pet and establish a new routine. It’s a new routine for the pet as well as the family,” she said.
Lackey said all HSNT locations are closing for this event, with the entire staff will at Will Rogers, including all available volunteers. However, more volunteers are needed, she said, to help with such duties as baths, grooming, etc. leading to the event, along with signing up for shifts before, during and after the event, and helping at the main shelter.
“While we are closed, we are painting another section of our location,” she said.
“Lives will change this weekend for sure. I don’t think there’s anything sweeter than a pooch or kitty who has a home for the holidays,” Lackey said. “I’m certainly looking forward to the “gotcha day” adoption stories that will come in to our communications department after the event.
“Personally, I’m a sucker for a great story, so I’m always talking to people and listening to what their life is like, and how it will be better with a pet.”