Maddie's Pet Adoption Days
- Dates: June 1 - 2, 2013
- Potential Funding: $5 - $7 Million
- Participating Organizations: 177
- Estimated Adoptions: 7,700+
Nearly Eight Thousand Happy Endings at Maddie's® Pet Adoption Days!
It started before dawn on the East Coast and followed the sunrise across the country: long lines of people waiting to adopt a new dog or cat at Maddie's® Pet Adoption Days, the nation's largest free pet adoption event. Before the June 1-2 weekend was over, nearly 8,000 pets had gone to loving homes - far surpassing even the most optimistic expectations.
This was the event's fourth year, but the first time it extended outside the San Francisco Bay Area. New communities included Washoe County, NV, Dane County, WI, Alachua County, FL, and New York City - a total of 177 rescue groups and shelters at 192 locations in five states and eight communities across the nation.
"As the event unfolded, new communities were at first surprised, then shocked, and then elated by all of their adoptions," said Maddie's® Pet Adoption Days manager, Joey Bloomfield. "Almost everyone outperformed their expectations."
Reports of exceeded expectations started pouring in before the first day was over.
"We broke our pet adoption goal of 1,000, set a new goal of 1,500, and then broke that," said Steve Gruber of the Mayor's Alliance for New York City's Animals, which ultimately adopted out around 2,500 dogs and cats that weekend.
Jeanette Peters of Alachua County said the community had done 516 adoptions on Saturday alone. "That already beat our two-day goal of 300," she said. "And we still had one day left! Amazing!"
In Dane County, WI, the Rock County Humane Society told Maddie's Fund that "for the first time we have no dogs available for adoption!"
Adopters were drawn to the adoption locations by an unprecedented wave of media attention, from the New York Times and Associated Press to local TV and radio network affiliates, blogs, Facebook pages and regional newspapers in every participating community.
Adoptions were free during the event, showing once again that this practice is proving to be an effective way to generate excitement about adoptions while still resulting in lasting matches.
"The numbers tell the story," said Maddie's Fund president Richard Avanzino. "Research done at the University of Florida as well by the ASPCA clearly shows that fee-waived adoptions are just as loving, and just as lasting, as those for which a fee is charged. And as even the possibly skeptical first-time groups learned this year, they definitely draw crowds of quality adopters."
In addition to sponsoring the event, Maddie's Fund is providing adoption stipends of $500, $1000, or $2,000 per adoption to each participating organization. The higher stipends are for senior pets, pets with certain health conditions or both.
"We planned on giving around $4 million this year," said Maddie's Fund founder Dave Duffield. "It will be more like $7 million, and we couldn't be happier about it."
A final monetary amount, adoption total and breakdown of adoptions by age and health status will be published in the weeks ahead as data is verified.
Here are a few of the pets who found their happily-ever-after during Maddie's® Pet Adoption Days:
San Jose Animal Care Center
Santa Clara County, CA
Emma Lee was San Jose Animal Care Center's last adoption of the night during Maddie's® Pet Adoption Days. Her new mom, Becky, was looking for a sweet companion to help her through her final rounds of cancer treatments after many long months of therapy. She went to a number of shelters, but did not make a love connection until she laid eyes on Emma Lee, who has also had a very hard life. They are perfect for one another, and we know they will help each other heal.
Friends of Noah
Dane County, WI
Annie, from Friends of Noah in Dane County, WI, found her forever home this past weekend as a result of Maddie's® Pet Adoption Days. She's a senior girl, around 10-12 years of age (Annie is the little silver Miniature Poodle on the left.) When the rescue group volunteer told her new adopters about Annie's physical limitations (she has a heart murmur, Friends of Noah had a dental done for her, and she has bad eyes), their reply was, "We love her anyway... At our age, we have those same issues, too!" Congratulations, Annie! You have found the perfect home!
Nevada Humane Society
Washoe County, NV
Fuzzy, from Nevada Humane Society, has a neurological disorder called cerebellar hypoplasia. Though it makes him wobbly when he moves around, he is still a happy, playful kitten. His foster family helped him grow big and strong just in time for Maddie's® Pet Adoption Days. Kyla, six years old, saw Fuzzy's picture on Facebook and fell head over heels in love. We know Fuzzy is getting lots of love in his new home with a new kitty sibling, who also has special needs.
Long Island Bulldog Rescue
New York City, NY
Charlie lost his home during Hurricane Sandy last fall, and was looking for someone to love during Maddie's® Pet Adoption Days. Long Island Bulldog Rescue in New York City rescued him and treated Charlie for double ear infections. As the doors of Petco Union Square opened, manager Josh Axelband spotted the 5-year-old English Bulldog from across the store and it was love at first sight. Charlie was the first adoption of the weekend.
Helping Hands Pet Rescue, Inc.
Alachua County, FL
It's amazing what a difference 24 hours can make! Trace was overwhelmed during the first day of Maddie's® Pet Adoption Days - quite a hectic weekend to make her adoption debut. One of the rescue's dedicated volunteers took her home for the night, cleaned her up and worked on getting her out of her shell. It didn't take long for her to get adopted the very next day. Trace has been renamed Mila and it's very clear that her new mommy will love her forever!