By Jill Fox

In their annual Adopt-a-Pet event, local organizations have once again mobilized to help find dogs and cats homes for the holidays.

As part of the “Homes for Dogs Project,” in collaboration with Adopt-a-Pet.com, real estate company Coldwell Banker has helped facilitate over 20,000 adoptions.

Their next event on Saturday, December 15, which will include Good Karma Pet Rescue, Big Dog Ranch Rescue, Justin Bartlett Animal Rescue and Saving Sage Animal Rescue will have dogs and cats available for viewing, fostering and adoption for those interested in helping save lives.

Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky is a supporter of the event – and adopting pets.

“This is a wonderful event that gives families the opportunity to adopt a new rescue pet. Our family has always adopted mixed-breed rescue dogs and we have loved every one of them,” she said.

Music will be provided by Eric & Daniel Haubner and residents can bring their pets for photos with Santa Claus at the “North Pole” or snap a picture with one of the many adorable kittens and puppies on hand. There will be homemade dog treats, pet clothing, pet food samples, and even food trucks, in case the humans get hungry.  And, for those who are thirsty, a basket of Titos, the vodka for dog people, will be raffled off.

Parkland resident, Dr. Jeffrey Sands from Parkland Animal Clinic will be bringing the future veterinarians’ club from Westglades Middle School. Good Karma Pet Rescue will be there with T-shirts, tote bags and brand new sweaters for purchase, all benefiting their nonprofit organization. They are bringing adoptable adult dogs and cats to the event as well as new kittens as young as 7-weeks old and 8-week-old puppies.

“It’s great when we get the chance to bring our animals to an event because they get to showcase their personalities. The puppies really enjoy being outside running around and getting to meet new people, and the kittens flourish,” said Naomi Rodriguez, foster dog coordinator at Good Karma Pet Rescue.

Rodriguez said that adoption applications will be available on site for kittens and cats, and people can take a new pet home that day. Fees vary between organizations.

For middle and high school students, fostering a pet can be a fun way to earn community service hours. Attendees can find out if fostering an animal is a good fit for their family. A pet supply drive will also take place, and these organizations are in need of towels, blankets, dog food, beds, bowls, and are always willing to accept monetary donations.

“Last year’s event was rainy and cold and we still had a great crowd and a number of dogs were adopted,” said JoAnn Orlando, a Coldwell Banker Realtor in their Parkland & Coral Springs office, who’s hoping for a bigger turnout and better weather this year.

Coldwell Banker’s Adopt-a-pet event will take place on December 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Parkland Equestrian Center, 8350 Ranch Road in Parkland.