Adop­tapolooza in Union Square.

Sunday’s event will fea­ture more than 300 avail­able dogs, cats and rab­bits, ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams, lots of fam­ily-friendly ac­tiv­i­ties and more.

Metro USA (New York) - - Front Page - NIKKI M. MASCALI @MetroNewYork nikki.mascali@metro.us

If your New York apart­ment is miss­ing the pit­ter­pat­ter of a four-legged fur baby, or you’re some­one who tries to make eye con­tact with ev­ery dog you see on the street in hopes you can pet it, you’re go­ing to want to go to Adop­ta­palooza in Union Square Park on Sunday.

The an­nual “mega peta­dop­tion event” is pre­sented by the Mayor’s Al­liance for NYC’s An­i­mals and part­ner Petco Foun­da­tion.

It will fea­ture more than 300 adopt­able — and spayed, neutered and vac­ci­nated — dogs, cats and rab­bits as well as ed­u­ca­tional and train­ing pro­grams, mi­crochip­ping and li­cens­ing ser­vices, kid­friendly hap­pen­ings and more.

“We de­cided to show what an ex­cit­ing event or ex­pe­ri­ence it could be to adopt an an­i­mal, to bring in a new four-footed fam­ily mem­ber, and we want whole fam­i­lies to come and maybe bring their cur­rent dog to visit to see how they get along,” Jane Hoff­man, pres­i­dent of the Mayor’s Al­liance for NYC’s An­i­mals, said dur­ing an in­ter­view at An­i­mal Haven in Man­hat­tan, one of the dozens of lo­cal shel­ters and res­cue groups that will have avail­able pets on Sunday. The Al­liance has no for­mal as­so­ci­a­tion with the mayor, but was named as such when it was cre­ated un­der former Mayor Michael Bloomberg for “how close we’d be work­ing with the city agen­cies to re­duce eu­thana­sia at An­i­mal Care Centers, which is the city an­i­mal shel­ter,” Hoff­man ex­plained.

Events such as Adop­ta­palooza are “hugely im­por­tant,” An­i­mal Haven Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor Tiffany Lacey said. “It goes be­yond get­ting an­i­mals a home that day — it’s about the groups get­ting out there and show­cas­ing the work we’re do­ing. We wouldn’t be able to do it on our own.”

Late last year, An­i­mal Haven moved to a new, state-of-the-art fa­cil­ity at 200 Cen­tre St. It houses be­tween 30 to 40 dogs and 45 to 50 cats, some of which can be seen frol­ick­ing in the street-level win­dows. The shel­ter places around 800 an­i­mals each year, a num­ber Lacey hopes to see rise with its new location.

Metro met cats like the play­ful Gucci and Dior and the diva named Elli, as well as dogs who were owner sur­ren­ders or were saved from the Asian dog meat trade, and Amanda, a friendly pit bull who was se­verely abused be­fore be­ing taken to a Florida shel­ter, “but

you wouldn’t know it be­cause she is the sweet­est and loves peo­ple,” Lacey said.

In ad­di­tion to see­ing an uptick in adop­tions af­ter each Adop­ta­palooza, An­i­mal Haven also sees an in­creased in­ter­est in those who want to vol­un­teer, some­thing the shel­ter al­ways needs.

If you have an image of what a New York shel­ter might be like, you might be sur­prised be­cause not only does An­i­mal Haven have tech­nol­ogy that iso­lates odors, noise and dis­eases, it also pro­vides im­por­tant train­ing and be­hav­ior en­rich­ment pro­grams for both pets and own­ers.

“We want to make sure that [an­i­mals] don’t de­te­ri­o­rate while they’re here, that their time at An­i­mal Haven is pre­par­ing them to go to a new home,” Lacey said. Pet own­er­ship “adds so much to your life, but you do need to pre­pare for it be­cause it is a com­mit­ment, but the added love and com­pan­ion­ship you get is to­tally worth it.”

Adop­ta­palooza will take place Sunday, May 21, from noon to 5 p.m. on the North Plaza of Union Square Park. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit An­i­malAl­lianceNYC.org. And if you can’t make it out this week­end, the Al­liance will host a Brook­lyn Adop­ta­palooza in Prospect Park on Aug. 5 and an­other one in Union Square on Sept. 17. Of course, you can al­ways visit one of the Al­liance’s many par­tic­i­pat­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions be­tween these and other events com­ing up.

ALL IMAGES LUC KORDAS

Adop­ta­palooza will take place this Sunday in Union Square and later in the year in Brook­lyn.

A 5-day-old kit­ten is fed at An­i­mal Haven.

A dog from An­i­mal Haven.

A former res­i­dent of An­i­mal Haven.

A dog ready for adop­tion.

A play­ful kit­ten that is avail­able for adop­tion.

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