WILDOMAR – In just one day, hundreds of local residents visited the shelter at Animal Friends of the Valleys as well as the Petco stores in Temecula, Menifee and Lake Elsinore and adopted a record number of cute and cuddly pets. According to Neil Trent, executive director of AFV, families, couples and individuals adopted 103 dogs and 52 cats with eleven dogs still on hold. The shelter was left with 23 dogs at the end of the day. Last year, AFV facilitated 78 adoptions for the one-day event.
“It’s so encouraging that there are so many caring members of the community who would come out to give these precious animals a forever home,” Trent said. “Many have had it tough the first time around, and you can see how grateful the pets are to have a second chance at life.”
The third year of the nationwide event, “Clear the Shelters,” was sponsored by NBC and Telemundo who team up with hundreds of shelters around the country, this year’s event resulted in 62,915 pet adoptions nationwide with final tallies from individual shelters still coming in. This number is 10,000 more than last year’s one-day drive and brings the three-year total to 136,326. Adopted pets include dogs, cats, puppies, kittens and even bunnies.
Dog adoptions at AFV were only $20, and cat adoptions were $5. Rescue partner Lucky Chi Dog Rescue covered all spay and neuter fees. VIP Petcare also provided $200 in free services for those who adopted pets. Rascals Boutique provided beds, leashes, collars, cages, kennels and more at clearance prices. Food trucks were at the AFV shelter providing food and drink. NBC4 and Telemundo52 hosted the local events.
“This is such a fabulous event,” Tasha-Nicole Terani, founder of The Every Child’s Dream Foundation, said. She was on hand to help distribute some of the 400 “Story of Jingles” rescue toys she had donated. The cute stuffed toys are accompanied by a booklet that tells the story of an abandoned puppy and his journey and serves as an educational tool promoting the adoption of shelter animals.
“This is such a perfect event for this donation,” Terani said. “It is so exciting and gratifying to see the looks on these kids faces when they get their “Jingles” toy and when they get their real pets.” The items were donated to Terani’s Foundation by the organization, Delivering Good Out of New York.
The Every Child’s Dream Foundation has delivered care packages for abandoned babies and children to every state in the nation and to over 92 countries worldwide.
“This was a wonderful opportunity to bring an educational component to highlight that side of our shelter,” Trent said. “We are so grateful for this fabulous and generous donation.”
Harlee Magner, 10, was one of the children who received a “Jingles” toy. She excitedly gave Terani a big hug and clutching her toy puppy, listened intently as Terani read her the story. Harlee and her parents Will and Sarah Magner adopted “Bosco,” a lab shepherd mix who will join three cats and another dog in the household. Harlee aspires to be a veterinarian. The family had recently moved from Orange County and found out about the event through a visit to Petco the previous weekend.
The Magners were among the scores who visited the shelter early to select their new pet. Thirty-three adoptions were facilitated in the first two hours after the 10 a.m. opening.
On average, the shelter holds 450 animals each week and normally processes 100 adoptions on a good week.
Animal Friends of the Valleys also provides Animal Control Services for six local cities. The shelter is located at 33751 Mission Trail Road in Wildomar. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. the third Sunday of each month. AFV can be contacted at (951) 674-0618. After-hours emergency number is (951) 506-5069.