By Arden Moore
The first time I spotted Casey, my ginger cat, he was a confident 4-month-old kitten making entertaining moves inside his mobile adoption unit at a Petco store. After he played, he cuddled in my arms, letting out loud, happy purrs.
The first time I locked eyes with Kona, my terrier mix, she shyly pressed her body against the front of her kennel cage so I could touch her scruffy fur. She had been in two shelters and her bio declared she really wanted to be in a home with other pets.
The connections I had with Casey and Kona were instant and strong. I knew a lifetime of friendships was just beginning for all of us.
Flash forward to today. Casey is now best known as Pet Safety Cat Casey and Kona is dubbed Pet Safety Dog Kona (as well as the playful moniker Ice Cream Kona). Both are 8 years old. Both assist me in my pet first aid and pet behavior classes. Both are certified therapy pets who visit memory care centers, libraries and shelter events for kids.
And, both are what I proudly call shelter alums. Kona and Casey are two of countless dogs, cats and other companion animals inside shelters just waiting for the chance to join families.
Admit it. Pets can change our lives for the better. When the coronavirus struck and forced us to stay home, many of us were doggone lucky to hang out with our loyal and loving pets. In 2020 and 2021, people flocked to shelters, locally and across the country, to adopt. Many of these places ran out of pets during the pandemic.
But that’s not the case any longer. This year, more people have returned to workplaces and are taking vacations. Shelters are filling back up with pets longing to win forever homes.
That’s why I am delighted to share big news.
Starting Sept. 24 through Oct. 1, the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League and Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control are teaming up to host the ninth annual Countdown 2 Zero Mega Pet Adoption Event.
“Adoption events, such as Countdown 2 Zero, are incredibly important to bring awareness to the community about the importance of pet adoption,” says Sue Berry, CEO of Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League. “It’s wonderful to see all the rescue organizations collaborate and join forces to find as many loving homes as possible. In fact, over the eight years of the C2Z Adoption Event, nearly 2,300 animals have been adopted.”
This year’s event officially kicks off from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 24 at two locations: the Peggy Adams Rescue League, 3200 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach, and Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control, 7100 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach.
Here’s your chance to get to mingle and interact with cats, dogs as well as rabbits, birds and other companion animals ready to be adopted.
On Sept. 24, adopters will receive goody bags — while supplies last — with County Animal Care and Control officials offering free rabies tags. Local rescue groups will also participate. As of mid-August the groups included:
• Big Dog Ranch Rescue, located in Loxahatchee Groves, www.bdrr.org.
• Furry Friends Adoption, Clinic and Ranch, in Jupiter, furryfriendsadoption.org.
• Shining Horse Farm and Sanctuary, in West Palm Beach, www.shininghorse.org.
Then this mega adoption event will continue virtually from Sept. 25 through Oct. 1.
Remember, if you are unable to adopt, you can always reach out to these groups and offer to volunteer, foster pets or donate money or much-needed pet supplies.
Kona and Casey are part of what I affectionately call my Furry Brady Bunch. When I got married to Julie five years ago, we merged our pets. Today, our pets total six. Our remaining pets were wandering streets before we adopted them: Emma, an 8-pound toy poodle-chihuahua mix; plus cats Rusty, Mikey and Baxter.
Here are just a few examples of how our Furry Brady Bunch has made our lives better:
Kona and Emma hop up on the back of our sofa and pop their heads through the curtains to greet us the second we turn our car into the driveway.
Casey engages me in cat chats with his upbeat meow and loud purrs, especially when I am in the kitchen where he knows the pet treats are stashed. Yes, he has trained me!
Rusty and Baxter entertain us each evening with their play wrestling antics, followed by curling up together for a nap on the loveseat.
Mikey, our senior of the bunch at age 17, acts more like a momma cat as he tenderly grooms Kona’s head every evening. Kona nuzzles him back.
Pets do make us better humans. To me, they are more valuable than new cars or jewelry because they are loving, loyal and priceless.
I hope you agree and consider adoption. The C2Z may be the place where you find the right pet for you.
Arden Moore is a best-selling author, professional speaker and master certified pet first-aid instructor. She hosts a nationally syndicated radio show, Arden Moore’s Four Legged Life (www.fourleggedlife.com) and the Oh Behave! podcast on PetLifeRadio.com. Learn more at www.ardenmoore.com.
Countdown 2 Zero
Looking to adopt? Maybe become a shelter volunteer? Learn more details about this major adoption event by visiting www.countdown2zero.org.