Next week Toronto will host Canada’s first ever Mega Pet Adoption event with Toronto Animal Services (TAS) and Toronto Humane Society (THS) teaming up – sponsored by PetSmart Charities of Canada and PetSmart.
I will be volunteering on Saturday and Sunday helping out with cat adoptions and from what I can tell this event is going to be LARGE.
I contacted Mary Lou Leiher, Program Manager, Partnerships and Marketing at Toronto Animal Services to get more details on how this came about, what the goal is and of course how they are going to manage the biggest adopt-a-thon that Toronto, or Canada has ever seen.
How did the idea for the Mega Pet Adoption event come about?
ML “PetSmart Charities sponsors these types of partnership based mega-adoption events in the U.S. For example, an event in Jacksonville, Florida was hugely successful – they adopted approximately 1000 animals in 3 days from all the animals groups that participated.”
Who approached you to participate?
ML “We were approached by PetSmart Charities because they wanted to do an event in Canada. The venue, advertising, some caging, transport – these are all items paid for with a PetSmart Charities grant.”
What was the main requirement to be eligiable for the PetSmart Charities grant?
ML “One of the grant requirements is that the event be partnership based, so it’s perfect for Toronto as both THS and TAS use partnerships, with other animal groups and also each other (smaller animal groups will also be present).”
Having that many number of animals both dogs and cats in one space can be stressful especially for the cats, how will the event be run to accommodate them?
ML “Cats and dogs will be kept in opposite ends of the event space (which is cavernous – have you ever seen the QE building exhibit hall? It’s huge!) We’re using half the exhibit hall space for this event. Cats will be placed just inside the entrance and will be moved to the space on July 3rd – day before the event. Dogs will be moved in the morning the event starts and will come in the loading door at the back, so they never have to walk through the cats. Attendees/patrons will have to walk through the cats to get to the dogs, not the other way around.”
Any final words for the goal of this event?
ML “There is no question that the cats will be a little bit stressed. However, my goal would be to rehome every single cat that TAS has up for adoption at the time. I hope to empty out the shelters. So, I believe some short term stress will prevent a longer term stressful shelter stay. This is the first year, so we don’t really know how it’s going to go. The events in the U.S. are insanely successful. So we’ll see!”
A large number of volunteers will also be helping out next week to ensure the event goes a smooth as possible. If you live in Toronto and have been thinking of adopting a new cat this is an event that is not to be missed. Fingers crossed for a great 3 days and that all the well deserving cats find their loving forever home! 🐱