Eight puppies and five dogs were brought back to what could be their fur-ever homes Saturday, following the Ontario SPCA's adoption party at First Round Sports Bar in Val Caron.
This pop-up style event allowed residents to foster rescues from Sudbury's local shelter and northern communities, who they had either previously selected from the SPCA's online database or were matched with that day.
After fostering the animal for one to two weeks while they completed any testing or medical treatment, residents would have the opportunity to adopt the dog or return it without repercussions.
Fostering prior to adoption makes for a much smoother transition for both animal and owner said Linda Morgan, who has been volunteering with Sudbury's animal welfare office since 1992.
By allowing potential pet owners to bring the dog home, introduce them to the family as well as any other pets the family may have, people can see whether the dog is a good fit, said Morgan.
"(This way) there's no spur of the moment decisions because it's not something you want to make a quick decision on."
While some of the dogs were rescued locally, Morgan said the majority of the puppies showcased Saturday afternoon were part of a transfer from northern indigenous communities. To respect reserves' independence, Morgan said the SPCA will not intervene in a community unless otherwise invited by its people.
"We have a lot of respect for indigenous communities that ask us to come on to their community and take the dogs that they cannot care for," said Morgan.
Morgan said that in most cases, the SPCA is called when welfare groups can no longer afford supplies for the animals in their care due to the isolated nature of their communities. The majority of this work has to be done in the spring and summer she said, as many of these locations are not accessible during the winter months.
Having a furry companion from a far-away land will be no sweat for Jessica Young and her family, who were inspired to attend Saturday's event by the success they found in their last adoption. After their dog Hunter passed away, who Young said had been rescued from Mississippi after hurricane Katrina, it seemed only natural to adopt rather than work with a breeder.
"The boys are very active and they love to have a playmate outside," said Young. "They've been stealing the neighbour's dog to play with, so we figured it was about time."
While two of the puppies the Youngs were interested in were claimed by the time they had their 'pick of the litter,' the family fell in love with their third choice and left smiling from ear-to-ear. To commemorate that Saturday was the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, Young said they were considering naming their new playmate either 'Duke' or 'Buzz'.
Also hoping to find a playmate that afternoon was Amanda Gray and her family, who will be forced to put their oldest dog to rest quite soon and hoped this new furry face would help their family through the transition.
"He's going to be a life-long friend for our other dog," Gray said, overwhelmed with emotion.
Gray first saw her puppy on a visit to Sudbury's SPCA, which she said was love at first sight. While the young pup was still in quarantine when the two first met, Gray came early to the party Saturday and made sure she got the opportunity to test this newfound love-affair.
"There's a lot of dogs, cats and other animals that need good homes and there's no better way than adoption," said Gray. "Adoption truly is the best way to go."
Morgan said anyone interested in animal welfare is welcome to host an adoption party and can do so by contacting the SPCA. Once the two parties have reached an agreement, the SPCA will be responsible for transporting the dogs, crowd control and registration.
More information on the Ontario SPCA can be found here.