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Adopt-a-thon helps shelter animals find forever homes

Carol and her lucky family from Northfield found this adorable Retriever/Plot Hound-mix puppy at the New Hampshire Humane Society’s annual Adopt-A-Thon, which was held at the Belknap Mall on Black Friday. Other great pets such as this are always available for adoption at the facility, located on Meredith Center Road in Laconia. (Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
November 30, 2011
BELMONT — While millions of people flocked to the malls and downtown shopping areas across the country on Black Friday in search of deals on toys, appliances, clothing and electronics, there were many Lakes Region residents who shopped for the gift of love instead when they headed for the New Hampshire Humane Society's Adopt-A-Thon at the Belknap Mall.

The one-day-only event offered discount prices on pet adoptions, and one local resident, Cory, said he had been eagerly awaiting the event.

"I've been wanting a dog for a year or so now, but I'm a busy guy, and hadn't had a chance to get one until today," he said.

Cory, like many others, marked his calendar when he heard about the special Black Friday discounted rates for adoption, and walked away with an adorable Beagle-mix puppy named Betsy, who seemed quite content in his arms.

"It was mutual," he said when asked who picked who between man and dog.

MaryLee Gorham-Waterman, director of development and volunteer services at NHHS, said she and many volunteers once again brought more than a dozen dogs, puppies and four rooms filled with cats to the store front offered by the Belknap Mall for what has become an annual adoption day. By midday, more than half the dogs were wagging their tails, and kitties were being quickly scooped up by loving people who took them all off to loving homes.

A Northfield resident named Carol said she had found a wonderful pet, which was a young Retriever/Plot Hound puppy named Farra. While she and her family were considering a name change, they were happy to have found a new pet to love and call their own.

"We lost a dog we had for 14 years back in April, and we read about this in the paper and decided it was time for another," she said.

Big Cat Coffee, a long time supporter of NHHS, had free coffee for those who stopped by the Adopt-A-Thon, and there were numerous raffles for current or potential pet owners to enter for a chance on baskets full of pet and people treats alike.

Former Pet of the Month dogs Terrell and Abigail were admired as they sought a forever home, and other rescued pets from as far away as Alabama and other southern states were also up for adoption.

"There are 15 states that still have kill law on the books, and we transport them here. Adopting them truly does save their lives," said Gorham-Waterman.

Animals just like Terrell, Abigail and a beautiful orange tiger kitty named Tonka, who "rules" the office at NHHS, are still available at the shelter and Gorham-Waterman said she hopes to bring them out into the community more in the future.

"We hope to do a lot more outside adoptions like this where people can easily come see the animals we have right in their own communities. Not everyone has the chance or time to come to us so we look forward to bringing the animals closer to them and find them loving homes," she said.

The New Hampshire Humane Society is located at 1305 Meredith Center Rd. in Laconia, and open for visiting hours with their wide selection of adoptable pets from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday; closed on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday.

Salmon Press
Martin Lord Osman
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