They’re diamonds in the “ruff.”
Multiple rescue pooches found their forever homes during a pet adoption drive held at a Long Island jewelry store on Thursday.
“Dogs are in such high demand this year,” said Candy Udell, of the Rescue Paw Foundation, an organizer of the event held in partnership with London Jewelers.
Some 40 dogs, including Labradors, Shih Tzus and mutts, were up for adoption at the annual “Champions for Charity” function, which took place outside, in the parking lot of London’s Manhasset location, due to the pandemic.
Within just the first hour, half a dozen families had already filled out paperwork to take a furry friend home, and Udell anticipated that “they’re all going to go by the end of the night.”
Close to 100 people milled around the lot, meeting dogs hailing from several groups the Rescue Paw Foundation works with.
Melissa Garcia, 21, of Bayshore and her dad and 10-year-old sister, said a lot of pups caught their eyes — though they ultimately fell in love with a “warm and cuddly” two-month old pit bull named Fendi.
“We haven’t had a dog in the house for a year,” Garcia said, “It would feel good to have a dog in it.”
Allison Monaco, 49, who runs the non-profit dog adoption clinic Jake’s Rescue Ranch, was hoping to connect 20 canines — a mix of terriers, golden retrievers, German shepherd mutts and one Saint Bernard — with loving New York families.
“They came from a hard life and we want to make things good for them,” she said.
Camp Happy Tails Rescue NYC, a rescue non-profit in Queens, brought Eddie Milo, a four-year-old pit bull mix who uses a wheelchair after being paralyzed during his former stint as a farm dog down south.
The pooch — who was brought to New York by the rescue after his owners could no longer care for him — was in good-spirits on Thursday night, sniffing around for head rubs from the crowd.
“We got him a set of wheels and now he moves super fast,” said Sydney Levenson, 22, a volunteer at the rescue. “We like to say he’s moving his best life. But now we’re looking for his forever home.”
Organizers attributed the event’s popularity with a spike in dog adoption amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The rolling nationwide lockdowns have seen isolated Americans increasingly adopt pets for companionship, from New York to Chicago to California.
“This year is extra different. So many people want a rescue dog,” said Udell. “The shelters have been empty because of the demand. The minute they come in they got out.”
“People are home now. They want companionship.”
Monaco, of Rescue Ranch, agreed that ““Everyone wants a dog during COVID to keep them company.”
Still, she added: “We want to make sure that when things get back to normal, these dogs get treated nice, too.”
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