My Furry Valentine is region’s largest animal adoption event
Photos from last year’s My Furry Valentine in West Chester
More than 3 million animals were euthanized last year at shelters nationwide.
This weekend, the region’s largest pet adoption event of the year hopes to do something about that number.
The second annual My Furry Valentine takes place Saturday and Sunday at 36 sites across Greater Cincinnati. The event is organized by Carolyn Evans, a board member for Cincinnati’s United Coalition for Animals.
“There are a lot of animals dying every year in our shelters (33,000 estimated) because there are not enough people who are adopting them,” Evans said. “It seems like an insurmountable problem at first glance, but, if we could just get people to think about adopting, then animals wouldn’t be dying in our shelters.”
In 2012, its inaugural year, the event found homes for 266 animals. This year’s event will be held at flexi USA, 8494 Firebird Drive. Representatives of 47 rescues and shelters will attend, with 481 animals available for adoption. Another 35 satellite locations, which include shelters, rescues and pet stores, will participate, with another 1,600 pets available.
Nathan Winograd is founder of the No Kill Advocacy Center in Oakland, Calif. He said Cincinnati historically puts down 70 percent of its shelter animals, largely due to the lack of awareness of adoptable pets.
“That (rate) is worse than the national average (50 percent), and it certainly doesn’t reflect well because people in Cincinnati care about animals,” Winograd said.
“Every year 23 1/2 million Americans bring a new pet into their home, but unfortunately the majority don’t adopt,” Winograd said. “About 17 million of those people don’t know where they are going to get their next animal. We just have to convince 20 percent to adopt to end the killing.”
The event not only saves lives, it changes them.
“I have always wanted to adopt a greyhound, but I live in a condo and didn’t think I could,” said Laura Blackwell, who attended last year’s event. “When I talked with the Homeward Bound Greyhound Association, they told me they make great apartment dogs.”
Blackwell, of Springboro, adopted Lina, a former racer. She loved Lina so much, she adopted another greyhound, Lilly, in May.
Since the event, Blackwell has adopted two dogs, become a foster parent for Homeward Bound and traveled with the group to save greyhounds in Birmingham, Ala.
IF YOU GO
What: My Furry Valentine
When: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Flexi USA, 8494 Firebird Drive, West Chester, four miles west of Union Centre Boulevard exit from Interstate 75.
More: 35 satellite locations throughout Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky will participate. For locations, go to www.myfurryvalentine.com/event-details/other-locations/
Locations and information: www.myfurryvalentine.com