Monday, December 29, 2008

Adoption Windows

When Jackie left home this morning, she little realised love would be in the air.

She was only going to do a few errands, but instead there was a match that could have been made in heaven. For in Macy's, Jackie
met Clifford.

And soon, with a few formalities completed on paper, Jackie and Clifford were going home together, if not hand in hand, then hand in paw.

For Clifford is a beautiful white and ginger kitten who was nestling on his ownsome in a cage - until Jackie came along.

Inside Macy's the SF SPCA - Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals - are administering the adoption of kittens, puppies, cats, and dogs, alongside their showcasing of pets in the much-viewed Christmas Adoption Windows.

'I came out to do errands and walked by to see the cats. Unfortunately, I fell in love!,' said Jackie, an older lady who preferred not to have her photo taken. 'I'm always falling in love with cats. And dogs!' she added.

So much so, in fact, that Jackie offers free dog-walking services to her neighbourhood.

Isn't Clifford a rather big name for a little kitten? I ventured.

Jackie agreed. 'I won't keep the name,' she said. 'Maybe I'll call him "Cliff".'

As Jackie sat completing the adoption process, Joan, the Outreach Coordinator who was helping her, said Clifford was two-months-and-one-day old.

His adoption is one more in a very successful Christmas event. Already numbers at the beginning of the day had totalled 289, surpassing last year's total of 277. This included 282 kittens and seven puppies.

People were continually walking by the adoption desk, making inquiries or popping into the small room nearby to see the pets in cages. 'It's been a really crazy day for a Monday. We didn't expect!' said Joan.

Of the numbers she said, 'We're absolutely pleased, especially with the economy!

'We're hoping to break the 300 mark and I think we will by Thursday - New Year's Day when the Windows close - but not our all-time record which is just a little over 300,' she said.

When people like Jackie adopt, they fill in a survey which aims to assess the type of home environment a cat will be going into. One of the questions caught my eye....'I would consider my household to be like.....A library...Middle of the Road...A carnival'!!!

Once the paperwork has been done, though, kittens are lovingly placed into cardboard carriers and are free to go to their new home, but with dogs more time is needed to match them with families. Hence the adoption numbers show that of the 289 adoptions, only seven are for puppies or dogs.

Today's windows had the most appealing triplets of chihuahua 'mixes'. Named Millie, Maggie and Missie, they are one month and 28 days old.

'I've met the mum, she's a chihuahua mix, she was very tall, very leggy for a chihuahua,' said Joan who is hoping to have more idea of the missing breed as the pups get older.

pics show: Joan reaching out a hand to Clifford in his box; Abigail, one of the SF SPCA helpers giving Clifford a final cuddle before sending him to his new home; Santa Claus announcing the latest tally; Millie, Maggie and Missie

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