SALT LAKE CITY — "There's no place like home" — your home, that is, for any of about 400 dogs and 400 cats that are seeking new owners at the 10th annual Spring Pet Super Adoption Event.
The match-up session continues through Sunday at the PetSmart store parking lot at 389 W. 1830 South.
While these animals can't "click their heels" and find a home, four dogs did get dressed up in a Wizard of Oz theme Friday afternoon to kick off the pet adoptions in the parking lot.
The colorful cast of canine characters, including Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and the Wicked Witch of the West, were led by Glinda the Good Witch, parading around hoping for a new home during a news conference.
Dorothy, portrayed by Savannah, a 5-year-old heeler mix, is one of the rare animals there who is already adopted. A black dog, Jordan, was dressed as the Wicked Witch, but didn't have the part down, being all too friendly and nice.
Surprisingly, none of the four dogs seemed to mind wearing their outfits.
Holly Sizemore, executive director of No More Homeless Pets in Utah, played Glinda and said this weekend's event is critical for shelters.
"There's a lot of variety here," she said, noting that dogs of almost all breeds, sizes and ages are available for adoption, and the same goes for cats.
"We have 8-week-old kittens to seniors," she said.
More than 20 rescue groups and shelters from across Utah are participating in this gigantic adoption event. The cats are all housed in a vacant building next to PetSmart, with signs proclaiming "no dogs allowed" inside. The canines are all housed in kennels/tents in the parking lot.
Sizemore said some shelters supplying pets for the event fill up with new homeless animals while the event goes on, and so it is critical that most are adopted this weekend. Fortunately, this event has seen most of its animals adopted in the past three years.
She said twice as many dogs are adopted in Utah each year as cats, and three times as many felines as canines are euthanized. "It's a spay or neuter issue," she said.
The adoption event's hours are Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adoption fees range from $50 to $75 for cats and $95 to $150 for dogs, including spay or neuter surgery and updated vaccinations.
A bad weather special of $10 off any adoption is provided when it's raining or snowing.
The event is sponsored by No More Homeless Pets in Utah in partnership with PetSmart Charities.
The mission of No More Homeless Pets in Utah is to end the euthanasia of homeless dogs and cats statewide and provide humane alternatives for feral cats. Since the project began in 2000, euthanasia statewide has decreased nearly 40 percent.
Information about No More Homeless Pets in Utah is available online at www.utahpets.org or by calling 1-866-UTAH-PETS.