The popular phrase “a dog is man’s best friend” was in full effect Saturday as hundreds of people gathered at the North Florida Fairgrounds in hope of meeting their new best friend.
The seventh annual “Take Me Home” pet adoption event brought out families from all around Tallahassee looking to complete their family with a new pet. More than 1,500 visitors were on hand looking to add a new best friend to their family.
Food trucks, pet-related vendors from around the area and veterinarians with information for new pet owners were also in attendance.
Grayce Berman began this event eight years ago when she saw the need for animals to get help. After traveling to cities such as Tampa and Orlando, she decided that Tallahassee should have a mega pet adoption event as well.
“My hopes are that this year’s event is just as successful as before and that cats and dogs find their forever homes,” Berman said.
In addition to pet adoptions, there were several other activities for visitors to part-take in. Food, games and fellowship were part of the five-hour event. Obedience training for dogs also took place where judges scored the pet and its owner based on the dog’s ability to follow directions.
Donna Moore, who has been a volunteer for the event since it began, says her love for dogs keeps her coming back.
“A lot of these animals have been abused, so it’s nice to see them go to good homes,” Moore said.
Before any adoption can occur, families are required to fill out an application and set an appointment to conduct a home visit. This is an important component in the pet adoption process to ensure that the animals are going to safe homes.
New dog owner Aimee Worth was one of the many people who were excited to add a puppy to her family Saturday.
“My only rule was that the family had to fall in love with him,” she said.
“These type events are important in Tallahassee because it brings people out and it reminds people of the community everything it (Tallahassee) has to offer,” Worth added.
The “Take Me Home” pet adoption event takes place every year on the second Saturday in January. More than 50 percent of the animals find new homes, Berman said.