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Mega Pet Adoption Saturday at Pensacola Fairgrounds

Animal Allies-Florida

If you’re looking for that new furry best friend, you could very well find him or her at the Pensacola Interstate Fairgrounds on Saturday.

“It’s supposed to be a nice day, shouldn’t be cold. Fun for the family; we’ve got kids activities, we’ve got a couple of artists that are going to be there so that’s going to be fun,” said Sharyn Berg – the Director of the group Animal Allies.

It’s the third pet Mega Adoption Event in the last 13 months, with more than 20 organizations taking part. Berg is hoping to build upon the previous two events.

“The first one we got 75 animals adopted in one day, and the second one we got 83 animals adopted, and our goal is 100. I really hope we make it this time,” said Berg. “One hundred’s a nice number, it sounds like how great it is to get 100 animals homes in one day.”

Those who have attended the previous mega adoptions will see some changes this time around.

“[The] kids’ area is a little bigger and a little better; we’ve got more vegan options from our food vendor – vegan and vegetarian options,” Berg said. “The Humane Society’s going to be there with the North Shore Animal League. They’ve been down before, but not for this event.”

There will be no shortage of adoptable pets at the Fairgrounds, but Berg says one of the exceptions this time is that no horses will be available.

“They can’t do the spring; they did come to the fall event – one did,” said Berg. “Lots of dogs, lots of puppies, lots of cats and kittens, and the mini-pigs will be there as well.”

Those wishing to take home a new friend will have to make an application to the rescue organization holding the animal. Berg says each has their own practice for how they interview people.

“They’ll be interviewed, they’ll have an application that they can fill out,” said Berg. “And they’ll also talk to them about what they’re looking for in a pet; what type of lifestyle do they have. Do they want a ‘couch dog’ or a ‘couch kitty’ or do they want a dog they can take jogging with them or do some outdoor things? Do they have a yard, are they in apartments? That type of stuff.”

The key to moving through the application process to adopt a pet is fairly simple: be truthful about your situation and know just how much animal you can handle.

“It’s okay to say that you don’t want a brown do, or you don’t want a longhaired cat,” said Berg. “We’ve got lots of kitties and doggies looking for a home. Older pets still have a lot of love to give and they don’t necessarily take as much, maintenance-wise. Sometimese they’re older and they don’t even need any medicines or anything like that. Cats – I consider cats low-maintenance.”

As mentioned, mini-pigs will also be available for adoption Saturday at the Fairgrounds. But Berg – who runs a mini-pig rescue operation – says when it comes to bringing home a pig, you have to know the ground rules.

“They’re great animals, but they’re very smart and can be a little stubborn,” Berg said. “The return rate on pigs for adoption is very high; it’s like 93 percent – not necessarily ours. We require that people go ahead and do at least four hours of volunteering before they can take the pig home. So they really understand what they’re getting into.”

One advantage for Santa Rosa County residents thinking about adopting a pig is a new ordinance, which allows two pigs per dwelling, as opposed to just one pig per dwelling in Escambia County.

When bringing home that new friend, organizer Sharyn Berg says rule one is integrating it with the rest of the pets in the household.

“People rush this all the time, and it doesn’t work that great,” says Berg. “There’s a whole process where you want to set up where you want to have the dogs meet off the home territory. For cats, you have to remember the new cat is invading the established cats’ territory. And the last thing you want to do is put them together right away. You want to give it at least five days.”

The Mega-Adoption Event will be held Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Pensacola Interstate Fairgrounds. Its inside, so the critters will be there rain or shine. More information can be found at the Animal Allies Florida website – www.aaFlorida.org or the Animal Allies Florida Facebook page.