Results are in – 214 animals find homes this weekend from Pets Alive via Maddie’s Adoption Event!

What a crazy weekend. In all my years of volunteering, or working at animal rescues, I have never seen anything like it. Ever.


I think that was the feeling of all of the staff, volunteers, and yes, even the adopters at this weekend’s Maddie’s Adoption Days Event.

At Pets Alive we placed 214 of our precious animals into homes.
Two HUNDRED and fourteen.
214 animals that last night slept in homes, in beds, on couches, and wrapped in blankets and the arms of families that would love them…instead of going into a cement run for the night.

I can’t tell you what that means to all of us.

At Pets Alive when we heard about this event we KNEW we had to get in on it. We KNEW we had to be a part of it and we couldn’t wait to see the results.

kittenadoptedAll of our staff worked so hard in the weeks leading up to the event. We pre-approved HUNDREDS of adoption applications. We bathed and groomed our dogs. We scheduled four offsite events so that we could reach people that weren’t close to our two physical locations in Elmsford and Middletown….or that weren’t aware of the event and would see us out there and take advantage of such an amazing “deal”.

We called up the press and had them write stories about the event, and we advertised it everywhere we could. Our volunteers took flyers and postcards and put them in all the local establishments – grocery stores, animal feed stores, PetCo, PetSmart, deli’s – anyplace that would let us tack up a sign or leave stacks of cards at the register. We put out HUNDREDS of flyers. We put sandwich boards on the corners and put up huge signs outside our facilities. We pulled in tons more dogs and cats, and made multiple trips to the CACC in NYC to pull as many as we could from them. We reached out to all the local shelters and told them to send us whatever animals they had been having trouble placing. We made multiple trips to the vets office to get all the animals vetted, and altered, and we pre-filled out tons of adoption and required paperwork for every animal on the property – to save us time in the event they did get adopted that weekend. In the two weeks leading up to the event our staff and volunteers were already exhausted.

Did I mention that on Saturday we also had our annual Fur Ball Fundraiser? The BIGGEST event of the year for us. We already utilize ALL our volunteers and staff to plan and execute that event, and they were to fall on the same weekend!! I admit, I had doubts we could really pull it off. Would our volunteers be burned out? Would they not come back the second day? After the late night of the Fur Ball on Saturday, would anyone show up to help us on Sunday morning?

Most of our staff had to miss the Fur Ball this year. We opened our facility from 9 am to 9 pm to get in as many adoptions as we could, and we wanted to be open and available when adopters might be able to come. Indeed we wound up opening even earlier and staying open even later as adopters just kept coming through our doors! We were NOT going to turn them away!

checkinSaturday, the day of the event showed just how awesome the Pets Alive staff and volunteers are. When I arrived at the Middletown location at 8 am, they already had tents and signs up.

There was a reception area on the lawn with laptops, and paper applications for adopters that were not already pre-approved. There was brochures and flyers out all about the event. There was signage at all the major intersections leading to Pets Alive. At the kennel, all the dogs were out in our spacious outside Camp Tyler runs. All of their runs were already clean and their pools filled with water and their toys and bandanas on. They all looked ADORABLE!

Volunteers were hustling about setting up, and people started to drive in around 8:30 am.

Our parking lot QUICKLY filled up and we had to open up one of our horse fields for the overflow. ALL weekend there would be four to seven adoptions being processed at the SAME time. In the cat house, in the dog office space, in the lounges, out at picnic tables. Our volunteers were helping to process and explain the adoption agreements, and while that was going on other volunteers and staff were showing at least 20 other families ALL AT THE SAME TIME the dogs and cats. In some cases the cat rooms were so filled, we had to have people WAIT before they could go in, for other families to leave the room.

People were actually ARGUING over some of the dogs – that THEY saw them first and they wanted to be sure the OTHER family couldn’t get that one! LOL! It was crazy, but crazy GOOD! We watched as seniors, who had been over-looked for so long, were met by families who had come to adopt a puppy – and they fell in love with the soulful eyes of an old dog. In some cases they adopted that dog AND the puppy they originally came to see. All in all between our two locations 6 senior cats went home, and 26 senior dogs went home. And 14 sick cats went home. The new owners opting to care for them at home, rather than leave them in the shelter. That alone would have made this event a success in our eyes!

oliviaIt got so packed that we created a “staging area”. So we could let about 20 families be down at the dog area at one time, but any more than that were held at the staging area where we brought dogs up to THEM to play with and interact with while we tended to the 20 or so families we already had at our dog area. Some of those dogs wound up getting adopted – including Olivia! Olivia was a sick and emaciated dog that had come to us from a cruelty case. She had put on weight and was looking better… but she still had some weird issues going on and her blood work was still all over the place. It didn’t matter. This family met her and fell in love with her in that staging area and they adopted her. They never even made it to look at the other dogs!

We also had fosters adopted. Many of our foster families that had been fostering for us were reached out to and we asked them to consider adopting their long term fosters. Almost ALL agreed, and that day those fosters became OFFICIALLY adopted…including three staff members who had been fostering a dog or a cat – they too decided it was time…and officially adopted them.

We even had GREAT results in placing our pitties. Often the most difficult dogs to place due to the lack of understanding about this truly WONDERFUL type of dog. Families would come in and just fall in love and take them home, and we were so happy to see all the love that was being showered on them.

danihenriTwo of our FAVORITES, Dani (tan) and Henrietta (white) went home TOGETHER! You may remember that Henrietta was pulled from a NYC kill shelter that was at an event that we also attended. Henrietta did NOT get adopted at the event and would have to be euthanized when they returned. We decided to take her back with us to Pets Alive instead, and yesterday – SHE WENT HOME!!!

And Dani? Dani was tied to a pole near a NYC police precinct. A kind officer found her STILL there when he left from work that night. He didn’t want to call animal control because he felt she might not make it out of the city shelter alive, and she was such a sweet dog. He took her home and fell in love with her but his landlord wouldn’t allow her to stay. He loved her so much he was considering MOVING! In the end though, that wasn’t practical for him, and so he drove her up to Pets Alive. And yesterday, this wonderful girl went home WITH Henrietta.

I really could just cry at this …and all the other adoptions that occurred.
It was miraculous.

maddyOur staff is exhausted.
Our volunteers completely fried…but no one stopped, no one gave up. They were there until after 10PM last night and at our Westchester location they were still there processing adoptions at 10:30 PM! We simply weren’t going to leave until EVERYONE that wanted a dog or a cat, HAD one.

Is this the answer?
Is free adoptions the answer to the killing in shelters?
I don’t honestly know.
Would it be effective if it was EVERY day?
If no fees were EVER charged?
I don’t know.

But I am going to carefully watch the results of this as Maddie’s and the Mayor’s Alliance post those results.
And maybe this is just ANOTHER part of the programs that need to be developed to stop the killing in America’s shelters.

Our days are not over.
saltyWe head back to work this morning because all the adoptions have to be entered into our database.
All the files have to be counted and recounted and all our numbers and paperwork have to be accurate.
We have to get all our adopters their medical info, and copies of their adoption contracts, and so today our volunteers and staff will CONTINUE to work and commit to the animals.

And do you know what our staff was doing last night at 11PM?
They were still at work, combing the euthanasia lists of all the local shelters to see how many we could commit to …so that tomorrow none would die and we could fill those 214 spots with MORE animals that could now get a second chance at a life …a family … a home.

Thank you to Maddies’ Fund for this day.
I know we have NEVER placed 214 animals in one weekend and I can’t imagine we could ever do it again.
But THIS weekend….we DID.
THIS weekend…they ALL went home.

Filed in Animal Rescue, No-kill by kerry on Jun 03, 2013.  There are 6 Comments

6 Responses to “Results are in – 214 animals find homes this weekend from Pets Alive via Maddie’s Adoption Event!”

  1. Marie Says:

    We were there for 9 am opening and thrilled to bring Jitterbug home with us! She is now “Rosie” and is already settled in. We couldn’t be happier. Thank you all for all that you do, not just for the animals but for all the joy you bring to families.

  2. Cynthia Nichols Says:

    Congratulations and thanks for all the hard work. It is great that so many animals went home over the weekend.

  3. Julia Says:

    wow, this is awesome! So many animals got homes! I am a kid volunteer and I follow pets alive. I hope to see the new animals soon

  4. A Huge Success From Maddie's Fund and the Mayor's Alliance | In Dog We TrustIn Dog We Trust Says:

    […] meaning that Pets Alive was responsible for around 1/8th of their New York area total – an amazing accomplishment! Nationwide the promotion resulted in more that 6500 animals finding new homes. I am profoundly […]

  5. Larry Addy Says:

    What an awesome weekend. I must admit we didn’t arrive until about 3pm on Sunday and my expectations were not high because I expected all of the good dogs to be gone. A Kelpie caught my eye and it was go from there on. What an incredable dog. Does everything right. Loves the grandchildren, and mom mom and pa pa. Thanks for a great experience. We’ll be in touch.

  6. kary Says:

    Wow! these kind of people are indeed angels. Having this kind of event can help a lot in the community. No more stray dogs getting hungry, and they can have the family they deserve. God bless you guys! :)

    kary jane

Leave a Reply