Published Sunday, November 8, 2015 10:19AM EST
One hundred dogs from California went from “death row” to “forever homes” this weekend, as hundreds of Vancouverites welcomed the pups into their families.
The mass adoption was part of Thank Dog I Am Out Rescue Society’s Save 100 Dogs event.
Together with Landmark Aviation and Wings of Rescue, the society flew 100 dogs from kill shelters in California to Vancouver, where Canadians were waiting to bring the animals home.
“It’s been the most amazing show of support for rescue,” said Susan Patterson, the founder of the rescue society.
Patterson said the high amount of stray dogs in California often leads to severe overcrowding in the state’s animal shelters. When this happens, dogs who aren’t quickly adopted can end up slated for euthanasia.
“When you have a shelter that holds 600 dogs and you’re getting 200 a day and only 40 are getting adopted a day, you do the math,” Patterson said. “It becomes a critical situation where the dogs have to be euthanized.”
In an effort to save the dogs and unite Canadians with their perfect pet, Patterson decided to use her connections in California to organize cross-border adoptions.
Since 2009, Patterson’s organization has worked to pair B.C. families with small dogs, which often can’t be found at local shelters, she said.
The majority of dogs adopted at the Save 100 Dogs event weighed less than 30 pounds.
Amy Schmidt and her family were drawn to the event because they wanted to adopt a small dog that would fit with their lifestyle.
“Initially they would prefer a chihuahua,” Schmidt said, gesturing to her daughters. “But mom has the final say.”
In the end, the family chose to take home Mira, a one-year-old mutt with a brown and white coat.
Before new owners could attend the event and adopt a new pet, the rescue society sent volunteers to vet the families and make sure their homes were dog-friendly.
Adopting families also had to agree to return the dog to the society if anything went wrong, so Thank Dog I Am Out could find the animal a different home.
Patterson said one of the society’s main goals is to make sure that that dogs don’t end up back in kill shelters.
“No matter what,” Patterson said. “These dogs are safe.”
With files from CTV Vancouver