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Event provides free pet adoptions

By Faythe Del Rosario, scene editor
On February 13, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO - Dogs and cats headed home with their new owners during the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SF SPCA) Be Mine Adopt-a-thon held Feb. 8 to 10 here.
The three-day event, which centered on the theme of Valentine's Day, allowed Bay Area residents to adopt animals staying at the shelter with no adoption fee, meaning that adopters paid nothing for their pets.
The adoption process still required those interested to fill out an application and complete a short interview with an employee of the organization.
"Many cats and dogs are adopted during the adopt-a-thons. The more events we do like these, more lives are saved," said Cynthia Kopec, vice president of SF SPCA marketing and communications. "We (the SF SPCA) hope to do better than last year's record."
In 2012, at the Be Mine Adopt-a-thon, there were 98 animals adopted. At this year's event 141 cats and dogs were adopted in total. Friday, 64 pets were adopted on that day alone.
"Historically, there has been bias against the fee-waived philosophy, that it wouldn't work. But the research says it's not true," Kopec said. "These events show that people do, in fact, want to have pets."
Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program, a veterinary group dedicated to providing academic animal welfare information, released data last year regarding the results of fee-waived adoption events.
The institute found that the 57 percent of the adopters who completed the survey reported that 93 percent of the dogs and 95 percent of cats were still in their homes after a year. Those who did not remain in home were returned to the shelter, placed in another home, had died or had gone missing.
Since the SF SPCA is a no-kill shelter, meaning any animal they get is not euthanized, the location fills up with pets quickly. The organization only takes in the number of cats and dogs it can comfortably fit.
"During this time of year, there is a low (rate) of adoptions. It's fun to market (Valentine's Day) as a theme," Kopec said. "It just lends itself for fun."
Each day different festivities were held to get people to come in and support the SF SPCA with donations or to take a pet home.
On Friday evening, the Be Mine Tattoo Cocktail Party was held from 4:30 to 9 p.m. The party offered complimentary snack foods, as well as free alcoholic drinks.  On Saturday, the SF SPCA offered four workshops led by animal behavior experts.
They taught people how to read the body language of their pets and how to help potential adopters to find the pet best for them. The workshops were separated by feline and canine behavior to focus on those animals' mentality more closely.  
On both Saturday and Sunday bake sales were offered to benefit the SF SPCA's foster department, as well as a Smooch the Pooch Kissing Booth - where attendees paid to have their faces licked by dogs.
San Francisco resident Gregory Armijo went to the party to check out the type of dogs they had, however he said he could not find one that would be allowed in his housing situation.
Armijo chuckled and said, "For adopters, tonight, it's like going home wasted and waking up with someone sleeping next to you and not recollecting what happened. It isn't a person though, it's a dog."
During the party, tattoo artists like Dannyboy Smith of Let It Bleed Tattoo, donated his services to provide people $40 tattoos, giving the funds to the organization.

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