Furry friends seek forever homes at Mega Adoption Event

A Brandywine Valley SPCA member takes a rescue dog from an airplane last weekend at Delaware Coastal Airport in Georgetown. The dog will be a part of this weekend’s Mega Adoption Event at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington. (Delaware State News/Submitted photo)

HARRINGTON — To Linda Torelli, marketing director for the Brandywine Valley SPCA, pets aren’t just companions — they are an integral part of the family.

Ms. Torelli and the Brandywine Valley SPCA are hoping to help several families grow as they are looking to find forever homes for more than 1,500 dogs and cats at the fifth Mega Adoption Event at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington on Saturday and Sunday.

Prospective owners of fur babies are invited to the event that will run from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. both days at the fairgrounds, located at 18500 S. DuPont Highway. Admission is free and the adoption fee for any of the dogs or cats is only $25.

“If somebody doesn’t know what they want they have the opportunity to look at various animals and find what they want for their family,” Ms. Torelli said. “One of most amazing experiences I have is to arrive at 6 in the morning and see people already in line to see all the animals. It gives me goosebumps. It never gets old.”

Several of the dogs that will be featured at this weekend’s Brandywine Valley SPCA Mega Adoption Event at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington. (Delaware State News/Submitted photo)

Laura Page, community engagement director for the Brandywine Valley SPCA, cannot wait for Saturday to arrive.

After all, in the past three years of hosting Mega Adoption Events, they have placed 4,061 formerly homeless animals into homes.

“We’re very excited about all of the happily-ever-after stories that will be created this weekend,” she said.

The Brandywine Valley SPCA will be teaming up with invited shelter and rescue partners from Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Alabama, North Carolina and Florida.

They have certainly been busy over the past week, rescuing and acquiring even more prospective pets for the Mega Adoption Event.

Wings of Rescue, in conjunction with the ASPCA, landed at Delaware Coastal Airport in Georgetown on Sunday carrying 79 dogs and seven cats from Mississippi.

Brandywine Valley SPCA also took in 165 small dogs from Arizona last weekend that were at risk of being euthanized.

“It’s pretty exiting when you see that flight land and you open that door and see all those amazing little faces looking at you from inside their cages,” Ms. Torelli said.

“A big part of the population of animals that we will have at the Mega Adoption Event are local animals. We will take all the lost dogs that we have from the state of Delaware. We actually empty out our shelter almost completely.”

There will be big dogs, small dogs, seniors, puppies, kittens, long-haired cats, short-haired cats and more available for adoption at the event.

All pets will be spayed/neutered, microchipped, up-to-date on vaccinations and ready to go home the same day.

“There really is going to be a dog or a cat for everybody,” Ms. Torelli said. “There are also people looking for adult dogs. We really enjoy it when we get the chance to rescue a special needs dog.”

Ms. Torelli said the Brandywine Valley SPCA has never taken an official count at one of its Mega Adoption Events in the past, but estimates that around 7,000 to 10,000 people come to see the animals before it’s over.

At this weekend’s event, up to 150 individuals and families will be allowed to purchase a fast pass for $50 on Saturday and Sunday, which will allow them to skip the main line and gain early entry at 9 a.m. The pass doesn’t cover the $25 adoption fee.

“The fast pass is a great option for people looking for something very specific,” Ms. Torelli said.

The Brandywine Valley SPCA is not worried about people adopting animals for the holidays and possibly having second thoughts later.

“We’re not really concerned about that at all,” said Ms. Torelli. “We always talk with folks about what pet is the right match for their family.

“And there’s quite a bit of research on a national level that finds that pets have a higher retention rate in the home when someone is given a pet as a gift.”

Volunteers needed …

Ms. Torelli said that volunteers are vital when putting on an adoption event of this size.

Those interested in helping with the Mega Adoption Event are invited to signup online at www.bvspca.org. Training is provided onsite and families with kids eight-year-old and older are welcome to participate.

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