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Mega Pet Adoption Saturday at Pensacola Fairgrounds

Animal Allies-Florida

For the fourth time in less than two years, residents in northwest Florida have the chance to meet their next furry best friend.

The group Animal Allies is spearheading the Mega Adoption Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Pensacola Interstate Fairgrounds. It’s inside under the air conditioning. Director Sharyn Berg says the previous events have gone will, through a combination of past successes, and the urgency to find homes for all of the critters.

“We reached our goal of 100, which had been our goal from the beginning; and by the time we held our third even, we got over 100 pets adopted in one day – 131 were adopted in March,” said Berg. “And we like doing it in the spring and the fall because of the need.”

Preparations are underway for the Saturday event, and Berg says they’re using the past ones to shape how this weekend’s Mega Adoption will be conducted.

“We usually debrief after each one to decide what we could do better and what would be a good idea for the next time,” Berg said. “It’s getting better, it’s getting bigger, more people are coming, and we’re getting more animals adopted. [There’s] bell ringing – every time an animal gets adopted we ring the bell and everybody cheers. There’s a lot to do – it’s a free event, free parking; so it’s a good way to spend the day.”

Credit Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media
Sharyn Berg, Director, Animal Allies Florida and Organizer of Saturday's Mega Adoption event.

Dogs and cats are a given, but Berg says they’ll have other animals up for adoption, for those whose tastes run on the more exotic side.

“The reptiles are going to be there; there’s a group that does reptile education,” said Berg. “Last March, they got two bearded dragons and a snake adopted, which is good.”

“Unfortunately, the pigs aren’t going to make it this year, [and] the horses aren’t either. They had to take in several horses that were confiscated.”

For anybody who’s interested in adopting a dog or cat – or lizard – there are some rules that must be followed. For instance, a lease is required from renters that show pets are allowed by their landlords. Those seeking cats must pass a screening and bring a carrier.

“For the dogs, it depends on the rescue [organization]; each rescue gets to determine their own criteria,” Berg said. “Whether they’ll let them go home the same day, what questions they ask, what prices, their adoption fee, et cetera.”

“On a lot of the larger dogs, they require a home visit to make sure that there’s a fenced-in yard, and the dog won’t end up on a chain. But some of the smaller dogs get to go home the same day.”

When you get that new addition to the family, Berg reminds everyone that the cure for the overpopulation of dogs and cats is spaying and neutering.

“When you look at the areas that have good spay and neuter programs, they do not have the high kill numbers that we do in our shelters,” said Berg. “Now, both shelters are doing much better. Santa Rosa’s doing 100 times better than they were this time last year, even. And Escambia County has made some great strides as well.”

Once again, the Mega-Adoption Event will be Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Pensacola Interstate Fairgrounds. More information can be found at the Animal Allies Florida website – www.aaFlorida.org -- or the Animal Allies Florida Facebook page.