SIERRA VISTA — Thirty dogs found forever homes Saturday through an adoption festival hosted by Broxton’s Coffee, located at 920 E. Fry Blvd., in Sierra Vista.
Saturday’s event marked the second year for AdoptaFest — a daylong celebration with live music, a jumping castle for kids, food vendors and face painting while featuring animal rescue organizations from all over Cochise County.
After meeting a 13-year-old Maltese named Lexi, Beverly Gonzalez delighted Rescue Adoption Volunteers by deciding to adopt the tiny, older dog.
“We brought puppies here last year, and had great luck getting them adopted,” said Sheila Dahoney of the adoption organization. “This year we brought some of our dogs that are more difficult to get adopted, and found homes for 13 of them.
Despite an overcast sky and intermittent rain, the festival went well, said George Broxton, whose goal in organizing the event is to help animal shelters and pet rescue organizations.
“We had a great turnout today in spite of the rain, and a lot of dogs found forever homes,” Broxton said. “Animal shelters are overflowing, and our hope is to help them showcase the dogs. We’re trying to create a festive event for families with activities for kids and live music throughout the day.”
Music was provided by RuWa, OFR, Matt Miles, Billy Power and Julian Woods.
While Cynthia Hopkins enjoyed the entertainment, she attended because she loves dogs, and wanted to learn more about what the shelters and rescue organizations have to offer.
“With all the different things they have going on here — music, bouncy castles, dog trainers and food vendors — this is much more than a dog adoption. It’s like a full-blown celebration, with dogs as the focal point,” she said. “I’ve already fallen in love with at least five dogs, and it’s almost impossible for me to make up my mind.”
The Huachuca City Animal Shelter had four dogs there, and they were all adopted.
“We didn’t attend this last year, and it’s definitely been good for us,” said Jerry Hursh, animal control officer. “We’ve had a lot of traffic through here, and people are taking information about our shelter.”
Shelter volunteer Rose Phillips said they were successful in finding a home for a brother and sister boxer pair, Ted and Athena.
“They’ll be able to stay together in the same home, which is what we wanted for them, but is something that doesn’t happen very often,” Phillips said. “Having the dogs out here, away from a shelter environment, allowed them to show off their personalities. I think it’s what helped them get adopted together.”
Dwayne Barch stopped by the event out of curiosity, with no plans of taking a dog home with him.
But that was before he met Angel.
“She’s a lab-cross and I liked her right away,” he said. “She’s friendly, and has a great disposition.”
Along with finding homes for dogs, the event draws trainers, and raises awareness about local animal shelters and rescue groups and the need for volunteers, said Arleen Garcia, Sierra Vista Animal Care and Control supervisor for the Nancy J. Brua shelter.
“George Broxton has been so gracious about allowing us to hold a ‘dogs and coffee’ event every month where we bring a couple of dogs to Broxton’s and attempt to get them adopted,” she said. “It’s been very successful for us.”
Mike Bushnell of AZgreyhounds, a local rescue program for retired racing greyhounds, said the organization works closely with rescue groups in multiple states to find homes for the dogs.
“We place dogs right off the track into foster homes so they go through an adjustment process before we put them up for adoption,” he said.
The greyhounds are neutered or spayed, their teeth are cleaned, vaccinations are updated, and they receive a general physical examination.
“We appreciate public venues like this because it gives our group exposure,” he said. “We had a great crowd through here, and a lot of people were interested in our dogs and rescue efforts.”