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|PAWS to host 'big' adoption day April 26|
As soon as Roger Laird opens the gate to the dog kennel room at the Ouachita Parish Animal Shelter in West Monroe, he is greeted with excited yelps from anxious puppies and dogs ready to go outside to play.
Laird, manager for the animal shelter on Well Road, had earlier taken two furry, yellow Labrador puppies out to play.
"Those little guys are worn out now, but just a while ago they were running and playing all over," Laird said, pointing to the two pups sleeping soundly beside each other.
No amount of barking by the other dogs was going to wake them any time soon.
Laird picked up 'Mama Bear,' a Wirehaired Terrier mix that recently had two of her puppies adopted. Her bio on Petfinder.com says she has "a little bit of the empty nest syndrome."
She watched nervously as Laird closed her cage. As soon as she got outside for some fresh air, she relaxed and became as carefree as any of the pups.
Many of the older dogs like Mama Bear in local animal shelters are hoping to be adopted soon. Puppies typically do not stay long at local shelters and often people drive many miles whenever one becomes available for adoption.
Older dogs, however, do not always get adopted, and sometimes they have to be euthanized.
That's why local animal shelters are constantly advocating that people adopt older animals. Larger dogs often are harder to find homes, too. Several area shelters take their animals to PETCO once a month in hopes that customers choose to adopt one of them.
On Saturday, April 26, PAWS of Northeast Louisiana will host a "super adoption day" at PETCO, located at the Target shopping center in Monroe.
The event will be held from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
This year marks the fourth time area animal shelters have converged at PETCO to host adoptions for their pets.
Christy Primm, rescue coordinator for PAWS, expects the group to have 40-50 dogs available for adoption that day.
Eight animal shelters throughout the region will participate in the adoption day event.
"We hope that by bringing several animal organizations together, we can bring greater awareness to the many animals that need homes as well as the importance of spaying and neutering and how that helps solve our overpopulation problem," Primm said.
"We want to promote all of our shelters on this day," she said. "A lot of people don't know about our pet overpopulation and just how many animals are at our shelters. There's many dogs and cats waiting for their forever families, and they need someone to come and save their lives."
Last year, six area shelters brought 71 dogs, and of those, 37 were adopted during the super adoption day.
The adoption day event will feature area dogs in need of a home, but also local cat groups will have information and photos of cats that need a home. Animal shelters typically only feature one species during the adoption day events since cats often become frightened around dogs, Primm said.
Primm encourages local residents interested in getting a dog to check out the ones available for adoption at any of the area shelters. She says most people are unaware that many of the dogs available for adoption are true breed dogs.
"For those who are looking for a specific breed, it's more than likely that we'll have one at the shelter," Primm said. "They can come see our dogs if they're looking for a specific breed, or they should contact one of the many rescue groups in the state."
Many rescue groups focus on saving specific breeds of dogs. Sometimes rescue groups will help transport an animal across the state to get it to an adoptive family. A volunteer will typically drive for several hours and drop the animal off with another volunteer in a different town. That volunteer will then drive a distance to meet with another volunteer. Typically, the adoptive family is asked to drive some distance to retrieve their pet.
For more information about rescue groups, area animal shelters, or adopting a pet, contact PAWS at 397-0007, or email email@example.com. To learn more about PAWS, visit www.pawsnela.org.