JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Hundreds of pets now have homes after a mega adoption event surpassed expectations.
Since Friday, families poured into the Jacksonville Fairgrounds to find their new best friend. The goal was 600 but Dianne Wiles with First Coast No More Homeless Pets said they beat that at 3 p.m. Saturday.
According to a release sent out by Wiles on Monday, 950 pets were adopted at the event, which meant that 96 percent of available pets found homes.
Volunteer Tabitha Faddis said she's put up so many adopted signs, she's lost count.
"Jacksonville's really stepping up to say 'you know what, I have a place in my heart for these animals,'" Faddis said. "They've run out of dogs every day and have had to bring more."
It's all part of an enhanced effort on the First Coast within the last few weeks to save abandoned animals, especially in the wake of Tropical Storm Debby, when more than 200 pets were displaced. Animal Care and Protective Services issued a desperate plea, and you responded.
"All of the ones that were adoptable, we got them ready and most of them have probably already been adopted," Wiles said. "So we're truly cleaning out the shelter."
David Robinson adopted Fiona with his son Miles. "She just seems like a sweetheart, very good demeanor. Miles here likes to crawl all over our dog as it is so she seemed like she'd be the perfect fit."
12-year-old Christopher Stearman lost his golden retriever 4 weeks ago and has been searching for 2 days before finding Opal.
"I'm very excited," Stearman said. "It's good to bring a good dog home and treat her nicely."
Dianne Wiles said it's proof that the Jacksonville community has what it takes.
"Thank you!" Wiles said. "Thank you for adopting and not shopping and spread the word. We can become a no-kill city and that's our ultimate goal."
If you would like to adopt, foster, or sponsor a pet, go to the First Coast No More Homeless Pets website.
First Coast News