Some pets at the San Diego Humane Society are adopted quickly and others spend a little more time there, but if you come to NBC 7's and Telemundo 20’s annual Clear The Shelters event this Saturday hundreds of animals -- dogs, cats, bunnies, pigeons, guinea pigs and more -- will be available.
Last year’s event saw 400 pets find forever homes in just one day. The San Diego Humane Society (SDHS) said on a good adoption day, around 50 pets will be adopted.
Puppies are rare, and if the shelter does come across puppies needing homes, they typically don’t last more than 24 hours before someone wants to take them home.
Jodi Smith, a SDHS board member of two years, and her two daughters, 3-year-old Tessa and 6-year-old Cora, got lucky Tuesday and adopted a 7-week-old puppy.
“We were waiting for the right time,” said Smith.
She said their other dog Taz passed away last October and it was hard for her daughters, especially Cora.
“I lit a candle for him,” Cora said.
But on Tuesday, Cora and her sister Tessa were ready for a new furry sister.
“What do you want to name her?” Smith asked her daughters.
“Poppie, or Popsicle?” said Cora. “Maybe Poppie, short for Popsicle?”
Smith has already warned her girls about the responsibilities that will come with their new pup. The family plans to create a job chart so that no duty goes undone.
“Today, what's going to be our job even though we don't have the board yet?” Cora asked her mom. “What are we going to do today?”
“We are going to have to feed her, and walk her,” answered Smith. “Do you have a job you would want today? Would cuddles be your job?”
“That’s not a job!” exclaimed Cora.
Dariel Walker, a spokesperson for the SDHS said the socializing and bonding the girls are getting with their new puppy is critical to determining whether Poppie will be the right fit.
“It was very clear they had a connection right away,” said Walker. “I think it’s important that she sat down with them and talked with them about the responsibility of having a new dog.”
Walker said sometimes the challenge with adopting is not knowing the history of your potential new pet.
“When you adopt here, you know that the animals have been behaviorally assessed and medically assessed; and they’re spayed, neutered, and microchipped,” she said.
She also said older animals have a harder time getting adopted, like one small white dog named Fluffy. Fluffy is 12 years old and blind in one eye. They said her owner had to give her up because she needed to move into hospice care. Now Fluffy needs a new home.
“A lot of the senior animals still have a lot of life and a lot of love to give,” said Walker.
All adoption fees will be waived on Saturday’s Clear The Shelters event.