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Pets find families at adoption event

Updated: 2013-07-14T22:15:56Z

By BRIAN BURNES

The Kansas City Star

As of noon on Sunday, only two Wayside Waifs residents remained without families.

There was Dollar, an American Staffordshire Terrier.

And there was Theia, an Australian Cattle Dog.

They had not been among the 208 animals –– cats, kittens, puppies, dogs and rabbits –– taken home by families during the first two days of the Summer Adoptathon organized by Wayside Waifs pet adoption center in south Kansas City.

The event started at 6 a.m. Friday, with families lined up outside the doors, some of them arriving at 1 a.m.

During the Adoptathon, which ran through 6 p.m. Sunday, the center charged $25 for all adoptions, with all fees waived for second adoptions. Normally, families will pay $25 or –– depending upon size, age or breed –– up to $275 for animals.

All animals placed over the weekend, according to usual Wayside Waifs policy, had been spayed or neutered, implanted with identification microchips and made current on vaccinations.

There were two reasons for the Adoptathon.

Staff members at Wayside, as at other Kansas City area animal welfare organizations, work hard to find homes for the high number of animals brought them during the warm summer months. Space that is cleared at the no-kill Wayside Waifs center then can be devoted to the animals that routinely come in.

“This is just a good way to keep the message out there,” said Jennie Rinas, Wayside’s communications relations manager.

A second reason is the ASPCA/Rachael Ray Adopt Challege.

Wayside Waifs is one of 50 facilities across the country participating. The challenge for Wayside Waifs is to place or return to their owners more animals from June 1 through Aug. 31 than during the same period in 2012.

Wayside’s goal is to adopt out 1,831 animals by Aug. 31. If it meets that goal, the center could be eligible for a $100,000 grant, or smaller grants.

From June 1 through Sunday, the center had placed 798 animals.

Still waiting to be included were Dollar and Theia.

Both dogs were challenging to place.

Dollar had been recommended for families with no children under 10. He had come to the center as a stray in April. Many consider Staffordshires to be a variety of pill bull, said Nancy Leonard, a 13-year Wayside Waifs volunteer. Some municipalities enforce prohibitions on pit bulls.

Theia, meanwhile, was being recommended only for a family with a 6-foot high privacy fence. Her owner had surrendered her in May.

“If you believe in the dog, you can find a match,” said Leonard.

Soon word came that a family had selected Theia.

That left only Dollar.

In recent weeks Leonard had been dressing Dollar up in a striped prisoner’s uniform with matching cap, and then exercising him outside the center’s front doors so visitors would see him.

A prison outfit?

“To spring him from this joint,” Leonard said. “He’s a gentle, lovable dog who has let me dress him up like this.”

Than, in mid-afternoon, a family selected Dollar. He and Theia were among 19 animals placed by late Sunday afternoon.

That left 11 cats –– and one more dog. Sam, an Australian Cattle Dog and Chow Chow mix, had started Sunday on hold until the applicant family could bring by another pet for a pet-to-pet meeting.

That didn’t go well. Late Sunday Sam was back on the adoption floor.

“Sam is available,” Rinas said.

Anyone interested in adopting any of the animals maintained at WaysideWaifs can visit waysidewaifs.org.

To reach Brian Burnes, call 816-234-4120 or send email to bburnes@kcstar.com.

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