Among the shouts of children searching for their new pet Saturday afternoon sat Oz, a 9-year-old pit bull mix, patiently waiting for his turn.
Families stopped to look at his chart, but once they saw how old he was, they moved on.
Oz was one of 195 cats and dogs up for adoption Saturday at the the third annual Summer Lovin’ Adoptathon at Alachua County Animal Services.
The event started at 10 a.m., but people were at the shelter as early as 7:40 a.m.
“It’s like Black Friday,” said Courtney Butts, a 25-year-old second-year UF veterinary student and event volunteer.
Adoptions were $5, and the animals came vaccinated, spayed or neutered, microchipped and dewormed. The new owners also received toys, a collar, a leash and a bag of food.
Normally, the cost of adoptions is $85 for dogs and $75 for cats.
UF students and other volunteers organized the event.
One of them was Stephanie Hon, a 24-year-old second-year UF veterinary student and public relations director for the Adoptathon. Although she was glad to see so many puppies and kittens going to loving homes, she was rooting for Oz.
“I’m a sucker for old dogs,” Hon said.
Unknown to the potential owners, a special gift basket would be given to the person who took home the oldest dog, and a piece of cat furniture would be given to the new owner of the oldest cat.
“The main thing,” Hon said, “is finding a home for the animals.”
The adoptathon found homes for 183 pets — about three times the shelter’s average monthly adoption rate.
Volunteers will continue to work to find homes for the nine cats and three dogs that didn’t get adopted.
Oz found himself without a permanent owner at the end of Saturday, but all hope isn’t lost for him.
His new foster family wants to adopt him.
Contact Brett Le Blanc at email@example.com.