“Adopt, Don’t Shop”

PupStarz volunteers help pups find new homes at Adoptapalooza.

By Ashley Laracey

October 24, 2016
NEW YORK, NY — Thousands of people passed through the 4th annual Adoptapalooza today, as 40 different pet rescue organizations and their animals awaited new faces and potential new homes.

The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, a non-profit pet rescue organization, in conjunction with Petco, presented the carnival-like adoption festival in Union Square Park. In addition to hundreds of homeless cats and dogs, the event included face painting, wheel of fortune games and entertainment for children, live music, a costume parade, dog training, pet licensing, vaccines and free samples to go around.

“At the five hour event we usually average around 300–500 adoptions here in Union Square,” said Petco District Manager, Olga Guruianu, 27.

Guruianu explained that holding Adoptapalooza in a central location like the park helps also bring awareness to the public to “Adopt don’t Shop.”

According to Steve Gruber, Director of Communications at Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, exactly 364 applications were received at today’s event.

Two children hoping to adopt a kitten.

The animal mobiles, play pens and crates were filled with dogs and cats ranging in ages from 2 months old to 8 years old. After an extensive adoption application and approval the animals are ready to go home. According to Guruianu, adoption costs range between $200-$500 depending on the age of the animal and the organization the animal comes from, but all animals go home with a New York City license tag, vaccinations and spayed or neutered.

The hope of the event is that one furry animal will paw at your heart strings.

“We saw a photo of her and just fell in love with her,” said Sara Blumenfrucht, 29, while crouching on the ground with her new puppy. “Raven was her given name and we are gonna keep it.”

Blumenfrucht and her boyfriend Lino Ribeiro, 36, found their new family member, a Pit-bull Labrador mix puppy, while searching online at PetFinder, an affiliate of PupStarz. A participating non-profit pet rescue organization, PupStarz has an extensive application process including background checks and even Face-Time home calls.

After seeing Raven’s picture online, “We moved fast on the application, did the Face-Time call. PupStarz put a hold on her and we came today to pick her up,” said Ribeiro.

Part of the purpose of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals is to promote awareness about the thousands of homeless animals, explained 33-year-old PupStarz volunteer and rescue dog owner Danielle Rosen.

“We have to get the word out there,” said Rosen. “Yes more people are rescuing pets, but we need to say ‘Hey, have you looked for the breed you want this way?’”

Sara Blumenfrucht and Lino Ribeiro with their new puppy Raven.

Some potential shoppers don’t know that many breeds can be found through rescues.

“Twenty-five percent of dogs in shelters are purebreds,” explained Rosen. Another thing people don’t know is that “not only are mixed breeds healthier than purebreds, they somehow know that you rescued them from a situation that was not meant to be, so the bond is stronger.”

Much of the activity involved plenty of children trying to convince their parents to get them a pet, crying, “Can we keep him?” and those who stopped by to get their ”pet a puppy” fix or to hear a kitty meow on their way to brunch. But hundreds of animals did find a new home.

The next adoption event will be held Saturday, October 29th from 12pm-4pm, at Fall Crafstravaganza on West 17th street between 8th and 9th Avenues, hosted by Animal Care and Control.