It’s spring super adoption season at Best Friends and the next two weekends will feature three of these hallmark events — this weekend, April 24-26 in New York City, next weekend, May 1-2 in Salt Lake City, and May 2-3 in Los Angeles.
If you live in or near one of these cities and have never been to a Best Friends super adoption, you owe it to yourself to stop by and get a sense of the commitment and collaboration that is at the heart of the no-kill movement. It is all on full display during these massive adoption events.
Super adoptions feature hundreds of pets in need of homes from municipal shelters and private rescue groups. You will see little kids with their families looking for their first dog and seniors looking for an easy-going companion. You will find dozens of rescue groups operating under different banners, yet all are united toward the same goal. That goal is to see that every animal there goes off to a new loving and permanent home. And you will witness the virtual lifeblood of our lifesaving work — our volunteers!
A super adoption is a sort of “community coalition in a can.” All the ingredients are there — lots of organizations with different ideas and agendas, and people eager to find the perfect pet. Each one requires hundreds of volunteers working under one key organizing principle — finding as many homes as possible for as many pets as possible in just a few days. Sometimes an event will feature more than a thousand homeless pets. Shake the can, pop the top, and out comes a coalition dedicated to achieving a happy outcome for every dog and cat on the premises — a mini no-kill community.
I’m sure that anyone who is tasked with producing one of these events will roll their eyes at the suggestion that a super adoption is an off-the-shelf, pop-top event. Of course, each one takes lots of time in terms of planning and managing all of those varied ideas and agendas. Each one also has a long list of peripheral details that need to be worked out: venue location, parking, food vendors, delivery access for equipment and animals, insurance, participation agreements, water buckets, an emergency medical tech, an emergency vet, signage, booth location maps, waste disposal, exercise areas, folders, flyers and merchandise. The list goes on. But after you do a few of them, there is a rhyme and rhythm to the whole thing. Vendors, rescue groups and shelters know the drill, and everyone gets on with it.
If you have interest in throwing your own large-scale adoption event where you live, we’ve got a guide on how to go about it.
In Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, this will be our 15th and 16th years, respectively, of putting on these enormously successful events. In New York, we have held them in the greater metro area since 2010, but the April 24-26 event will be our first super adoption held in Manhattan. If you live in New York, please join us at the Altman Building, 135 W. 18th Street. The event kicks off today at 4 p.m.
Together, we can Save Them All.
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Chief Development and Marketing Officer
Best Friends Animal Society