Hurricane-impacted cats, dogs find owners at Adoptapalooza

Dena Spinelli, a volunteer with rescue organization Husky House with Jake, a now-healthy husky that was rescued from a puppy mill (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Sunday afternoon, over 400 cats and dogs in need of homes were brought to Union Square Park for Adoptapalooza, an event held by the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and the Petco Foundation. A constant stream of animal lovers, many considering adopting or fostering new pets, filled the park’s north end, which was lined with booths manned by shelter volunteers as well as a few booths for games, pet photos and caricatures as well as a grass field.

Jane Hoffman, president of the Mayor’s Alliance, said at Adoptapalooza events, it’s typical for around 200 animals to get adopted.

“The value of it is it creates awareness,” said Hoffman, who also said it’s become a popular destination for families. This year, the event took on some extra urgency though thanks to a flurry of homeless pets from Florida and Texas following the hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

“When we had Superstorm Sandy, we had groups fly out of parts of the country and help us,” Hoffman said. “With Harvey and Irma, our groups stepped up to help them.”

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