In its third year, Maddie’s Adoptathon is a program that encourages local animal shelters and rescue organizations to adopt cats and dogs to qualified pet owners free of charge for one weekend. In return, participating programs throughout Contra Costa, Alameda and San Francisco counties receive a minimum of $500 for each pet they place in a loving home.
Homeless Animals’ Lifeline Organization (HALO), based in Oakley, has been a pacesetter for the annual adoptathon, placing in the top three each year for most animals adopted. This year HALO found homes for more than 160 of its rescues.
HALO President Tamara Reed credits the adoptathon for providing essential funding needed to keep HALO’s programs functioning. “HALO would not be as successful as it is without the help of Maddie’s Fund and the annual adoptathon,” said Reed. “The funds help us cover the costs for supplies and vet bills. We wouldn’t be able to save as many animals as we have without this fundraiser. The generosity of Maddie’s Fund is instrumental to what we do.”
Delta Animals Safe Haven (DASH), based in Antioch, adopted 19 dogs to new families as part of the adoptathon. DASH President Rick Stirrat said he was extremely pleased with DASH’s success in its first adoptathon. Most of the foster dogs the program harbors were adopted, and volunteers went to the Antioch Animal Shelter earlier this week to rescue more dogs to showcase at its weekly adoption events at Petsmart at Slatten Ranch.
Homeless Animals Response Program (HARP), also based in Antioch, also enjoyed a successful weekend, finding homes for 37 cats and 14 dogs. HARP President Karen Kops was delighted with the response. “Cats and dogs that end up in shelters – they can’t tell us their story,” Kops said. “They’ve been abandoned for whatever reason, but it’s our hope that we can find loving homes for as many dogs and cats as possible. Our volunteers take on as many fosters as they can, but there are so many animals in need of a good home.”
One such animal in need of a loving home was Chewy, an 11-year-old Pomeranian that a HARP volunteer found wandering the streets of downtown Antioch. HARP took in the dog and had it scanned for a microchip to see if they could locate the owner. The owners were located but said they didn’t want the dog, so HARP took him in. They took Chewy to the vet, where he was neutered and had 11 teeth pulled. Spruced up and ready to find a new family, Chewy waited patiently for his new family during Maddie’s Adoptathon, and by the end of the weekend, he left with his new owners.
“He is such a wonderful little dog,” Kops said. “I’m so glad we were able to find him a forever home, one where he will be safe and loved.”
On Tuesday, Maddie’s Adoptathon organizers reported that preliminary numbers show that more than 2,600 cats and dogs were adopted throughout the Bay Area.