Mountain View Voice

News - August 10, 2012

Humane Society holds 'adoption Olympics'

by Emily Efland

As the 2012 summer Olympics come to a close this weekend, one more Olympic-style event is set to occur on Saturday, Aug. 11, this one slightly different than the athletic competitions in London.

The Humane Society Silicon Valley is holding its Adopt-a-Pet Olympics on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., an event aimed at introducing young animals to families in the hopes that they will be adopted and taken home.

Featuring puppies, kittens, bunnies and guinea pigs, the Adopt-a-Pet Olympics will showcase many of its young, adoptable animals in an open setting where participants may pet the animals and talk to trainers about raising techniques. Animal events such as "synchronized cat-nastics," "uneven puppy sprints" and "sumo kitten wrestling" will also occur, along with agility performances by trained dogs, says a Humane Society spokesperson. The vice president of marketing, Mark Saraceni, says that the event is primarily aimed at families and children, and will include activities such as dog treat making for kids. Gourmet food carts stationed around the event will provide participants with refreshments.

All animal adoption fees will be discounted 50 percent for the event, a deal that begins on Saturday, August 11 and extends until Sunday, August 19. The Humane Society also has free dogs and cats designated as "gold medal." The adoption fees for these pets have been sponsored by private donors or the Humane Society Silicon Valley, who believe the pets are especially well-suited to home life and deserve a family. These animals often come with prior training, Saraceni says.

People who adopt puppies from the Humane Society must attend its puppy training classes, while older dogs usually require little to no training. Humane Society Silicon Valley trainers will be on hand at the Adopt-a-Pet Olympics to provide animal adoption applications and review potential pet adopters.

While most of the animals showcased at the Saturday event are family-friendly, Saraceni emphasizes that the primary goal of the event is to provide people with many hands-on opportunities in order to meet the animals most suited for their lifestyle.

"There are a lot of animals that are absolutely all about kids and families," Saraceni says. "There are a few animals that are wonderful with kids, but that are probably more appropriate for an active lifestyle. The (adoption application) questions are designed to find out how we can help you find the best home for these animals."

The Adopt-a-Pet Olympics will occur at the Humane Society Silicon Valley, located at 901 Ames Avenue in Milpitas. More information can be found by calling (408) 262-2133.

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