BY MARK GOODSON— Operation Paws for Homes (OPH), an Arlington-based dog rescue organization, hosted its first pet adoption event in Hyattsville on Halloween day, partnering with the Big Bad Woof, the Arts District’s eco-friendly pet supply store.
“I think there’s a tremendous amount of interest in the community to adopt and not enough venues offering adoption in a setting like this where people can come meet the dogs without having to go to a shelter,” said Big Bad Woof Owner Pennye Jones-Napier. The pleasant fall weather brought hundreds of Arts District shoppers to the adoption table where they metthree canines in need of homes. Nearly a dozen OPH volunteers were on hand to connect dogs with possible forever-homes.
Two dogs were adopted in the three hour window according to OPH’s Alice Schindler. Dink, a Terrier-Dotson mix, now has a new home and a Dachshund for a new sibling. Blue Bell, nicknamed “mini Golden” by volunteers for the mixed-breed’s miniaturized resemblance to the purebred retriever, also found a new home.
Esther, the third dog showcased on Oct. 31 is still available for adoption. The hound-shepherd mix, along with over 150 other dogs, can be viewed for adoption on OPH’s website. Some of the listeddogs are boarded, but most are held in temporary foster homes.
Silver Spring’s Tony Park is taking care of Esther until a permanent home is found. “We lost one of our dogs last winter and we were thinking about another dog. We were browsing on the internet and came across their site,” said Park. He and his wife Jennifer contacted several rescue organizations for an application and OPH was the first to reply. “They are so organized,” he said.
Among the volunteers was University of Maryland Junior Cece Cizek. Like Park, Cizek, an international business major, praised OPH’s organization and responsiveness, saying their website is “user-friendly” and “up-to-date.” Cizek first heard of OPH in her hometown of Frederick, Md. It was Cizek who introduced the organization to the Big Bad Woof:
On that same day, Oct. 31, OPH organized three other adoption events in Georgetown, Millersville, Md., and Vienna, Va. OPH’s Schindler, who fostered Dink, says she is excited to “get things up and running in this area.” OPH has transporters all over the DMV and even Pennsylvania, who rescue dogs from euthanization in either South Carolina or West Virginia, according to Schindler.
Jones-Napier said the Big Bad Woof is a “strong supporter of adoption.” The Hyattsville store and its Takoma Park parent-store have hosted the Washington Animal Rescue League, the PGSPCA, the Washington Humane Society, Dogs XL Rescue, and Alley Cat Allies. Jones-Napier says her store is “getting ready to host the Greenbelt shelter this month.”
To find more Big Bad Woof events, check out their events calendar on the web at www.thebigbadwoof.com/events-calendar/, and to get involved with OPH, go to www.ophrescue.org for information on either fostering or volunteering.