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Animal lovers and pets unite at annual Adopt-A-Thon

Jake and Ellie Monahan cuddle with their new kittens at the New Hampshire Humane Society’s annual Adopt-A-Thon Friday. Meghan Siegler. (click for larger version)
December 01, 2010
BELMONT — Cats and canines found their forever homes by the masses last week as their new humans led them out of the temporary animal haven set up at the Belknap Mall for the New Hampshire Humane Society's annual Adopt-A-Thon.

Wayne Farmer and Kristine LaRoche of Franklin were at the Adopt-A-Thon Friday, spending some time with a lab mix named Butter. The couple had visited the shelter in Laconia the previous week where they first met Butter, and they'd gone online later to read more about him. Farmer said they decided to come to the Adopt-A-Thon to look some more, but walked in, saw Butter, and spent the rest of their time there getting to know him.

Butter is 1 to 2 years old, which is just what Farmer and LaRoche were looking for because they didn't want to go through the puppy-training process.

"She's really easygoing," Farmer said, holding Butter on a leash. "She hasn't barked yet."

By 1 p.m. on Friday, only three hours into the two-day Adopt-A-Thon, several people had already connected with their new pets. Humane Society spokesperson Marylee Gorham said that while the first hour or so had been quiet because of the icy roads, things had picked up quickly.

"We've had a number of dogs already adopted," Gorham said.

Over in the kitten room, Jane Monahan and her two kids, Jake, 8, and Ellie, 6, were getting to know two grey kitties.

"This is the best cat I've ever had," Jake said.

Monahan, who owns a cottage in Laconia but lives in Watertown, Mass., said they came to the Adopt-A-Thon hoping to find the perfect pair of kittens.

"We've been looking for about three, maybe four weeks," she said.

New Hampshire Humane Society Executive Director Mary Di Maria said the Adopt-A-Thon has been held the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving at the Belknap Mall for several years now and allows a larger number of animals to be placed with families in a short period of time.

"We love this event every year," Di Maria said.

Numerous volunteers staff the event so potential adopters can ask questions, spend time with animals they're interested in, and fill out all the necessary paperwork if they decide to adopt.

Di Maria said a lot of their dogs come from Alabama and South Carolina, where they are doomed for euthanasia.

At the Humane Society, "No animal is ever euthanized for time, money or space constraints," Di Maria said. "They all stay with us until they find their 'forever homes.'"

Di Maria said all animals at the shelter and the Adopt-A-Thon (except for small kittens) are spayed or neutered, de-wormed and up-to-date on rabies shots. All dogs are microchipped, and cats are done within the next month.

Dan Hopkins of Gilmanton and Brianna Lewis of Laconia were at the Adopt-A-Thon Friday in search of a dog.

"We're just kind of looking around right now," Lewis said.

Anyone who missed the Adopt-A-Thon or didn't find their perfect pet at the event can visit the New Hampshire Humane Society shelter on Meredith Center Road in Laconia or visit nhhumane.org.

Martin Lord Osman
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