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Oakland’s Animal Services Adoption Drive a Big-Time Success

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Oakland Animal Services (OAS) were desperate to find homes for their biggest and most adorable residents due to overcrowding. Some dogs had been in the shelter for more than 100 days. OAS decided to hold a special adoption event last weekend where they would extend the shelter hours and waive adoption fees with a goal of finding homes for 50 big dogs in 5 days. 

40th to be adopted, Bon Jovi (now known as Joey), being serenaded by his new Dad (photo from his parents).

A dog has not been euthanized at OAS since 2019 thanks to the efforts of Dunn and her staff. The shelter has room for just 78 big dogs and will, when desperate, split kennels in half to support the need for more room in their space. Last month, OAS had 289 dogs come into the shelter. The average is 234 per month so this meant over 50 more dogs than the average came in last month.

“The changes we have made in the last three years, as well as the tremendous community support that we have received, has made it possible to achieve the lowest euthanasia rate for dogs in OAS’s history in 2022. We’re asking for people to step up in a big way to help our dogs now,” Dunn said to The Chronicle at the start of the event.

What’s scary to hear is that, if the event wasn’t a success, there was a chance that OAS would have to start implementing a 9-point criteria to determine which animals may have had to be euthanized. However, one thing we know about our community here in The Bay Area, we will show up and support in droves when we are needed the most.

The final goal was far exceeded—almost double the expected number of adoptees found homes.

On the first day, nearly half of the goal of 50 big dogs were adopted out. The overall event went so well that OAS was able to adopt nearly double their original goal. Dunn and her staff asked people to “step up in a big way” and The Bay Area did just that. In 5 days, over 100 animals were adopted.

Number of animals finally with a home: 129!

• 90 big dogs
• 14 small dogs
• 19 cats
• 3 rabbits
• 3 guinea pigs

Catching up with one of the recent adoptees, Joey!

We were able to catch up with one of the adoptees for an exclusive look at his new life. Joey The Husky (known previously as Bon Jovi) was adopted by Jamie Jordan and her partner. He had been in the shelter since early October 2022.

Joey and his new Mom, Jamie (who took this photo).

Joey was the 40th big dog adopted during the event, the last dog adopted out on Friday’s rainy day. Safe to say that he didn’t think it was a dreary day at all—all sunshine and rainbows for this beautiful husky.

“I saw the need to have 50 dogs adopted, and we had already been wanting to adopt a dog since we bought our place and could finally have one! I initially went in to look at a heeler, but fell in love with a husky,” says Jamie.

Joey is already so loved. Since his adoption last Friday, he’s been serenaded, gone hiking, snugged up to his new mom and dad and explored his fur-ever home in West Marin.

Joey hiking and getting lots of snuggles with his new family – photo from his Mom, Jamie.

How can you help Oakland Animal Services?

Even with the success of their weekend event, there are still lots of pups that still need homes. Shelters are experiencing a huge influx of animals.

If you feel you can’t commit to adopting an animal, fostering might be a great option. When there is overcrowding, shelters rely on foster families to help support animals in need, including some who have just had surgery and need to heal a little without the stress of the shelter.

OAS has already shared their next event that you can attend, the first “Dog Adoption Pup Up!” of 2023. Join in the fun and meet adoptable animals his Saturday, June 21st at Nido’s Backyard in Oakland from 3-5pm.

To follow Oakland Animal Services, check out their Instagram and their website for events, how to help, and available adoptees.

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Katy Atchison

Katy Atchison

Katy is a professional smiling machine raised in The Bay Area since the age of 3. While other kids were attending summer camp & soccer practice, she was raised selling wares at craft shows with her working artist parents and spent vacations in a small 1920s Montana log cabin. This has all given her a unique perspective on the ever-changing texture of San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area. Currently a blend of all that is The Bay Area - she's a web designer at a tech-company, artist and DIY teacher.

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