JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Humane Society and Animal Care and Protective Services joined forces with PetSmart this weekend to find cats and dogs their furever homes. Free adoption events took place at PetSmart's Southside and Regency stores.
“It’s National Adoption Weekend," said Lindsay Layendecker, assistant development director at the Jacksonville Humane Society.
This couldn't come at a better time for the Jacksonville Humane Society.
“Shelters across the nation are full because it’s summertime. We have kitten season with all of the baby cats coming in," Layendecker said.
The second reason cages are full is seasonal.
“Sometimes adoptions slow down," Layendecker said. "People travel. They’re on vacation. They’re out of town. They’re in their summer homes, so they may not be adopting, or they’re making plans to travel. They can’t adopt a dog and then be gone in three weeks.”
Layendecker said one of the reasons they are full is actually because of the pandemic as people go back to work, so fewer people are available to foster or adopt.
“This is our first big adoption event in an off-site store since February of 2020," Layendecker
The partnership with PetSmart Charities allowed the free adoptions at two Jacksonville stores.
“Yeah, I love it. It just makes it little more accessible for us," Jessica Chapkin said.
Jessica Chapkin adopted a three-month-old puppy during the free adoption event.
“I kind of just wanted to come to PetSmart and see if a dog would fall in love with me," Chapkin said. "I wanted them to make that decision. I feel like I have that, so it’s really fulfilling. I’m really excited and happy to support.”
Chapkin's priority is to show the importance of adopt, don't shop.
“I would absolutely rather adopt over going to a breeder just because you want to take them out of an environment they didn’t love," Chapkin said. "They go through a lot, so you want to be able to support the adoption agencies.”