SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)– As Americans edge out of the pandemic year, pet owners are returning their animals back to local shelters.
Now, animal lovers across Central New York can come together to save lives by adopting at a local event.
The Wanderers’ Rest Humane Association will host, “Woofstock,” an animal friendly event, celebrating its 40th anniversary.
WRHA is an open-admission shelter that serves more than 1,000 cats and dogs each year. Woofstock, WRHA’s biggest fundraising event, showcases animals and celebrates the power of adoption.
In the past year, W-R-H-A has seen an uptick of adoptions with residents staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, these animals are being returned because residents are either going back to work or can no longer take care of the animal.
Wanderers’ Rest Humane Association director of development Erica Toyama says Woofstock will always help animals find a permanent home.
“It’s unfortunate. So, the goal is to really get the animals adopted as much as possible because we have a pretty full shelter right now,” said Toyama. “The goal is to get the animal matched up with the right person or family.”
According to WRHA’s 2020 Annual Report, 302 animals were adopted, however, 99 were sent back to the shelter. That report did not include 2021.
In 2019 and 2018, WRHA only had 29 and 26 animals returned to the shelter.
Despite the number of animals being sent back, shelter adoptions are still on a steady rise.
Toyama says not only will adoptable animals attend Woofstock but booklets will be handed out showcasing the animals.
“People can look through and see if they like the looks of those animals and maybe come visit them in the shelter,” said Toyama. “Woofstock has always been a fun family event but it also shows how animals can be a great addition.”
Woofstock will include local vendors, a dunk tank, live musical performances and dog training demonstrations.
The event will be held August 14th, 2021 at 360 North Main Street from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.