PetSmart events connect pets with homes

The minute she stared into his big, brown eyes, Courtney Fillmore knew she was taking the dog home with her.

Fillmore, a resident of the109, adopted Rommel in 2009 at the PetSmart store located near Hulen Street and I-20 during one of its quarterly PetSmart Charities National Adoption Weekends.

From 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 15 and 16 and from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Nov. 17, the store will participate in this quarterly adoption event again.

Here, people will have the opportunity to adopt both dogs and cats.

Diane Covey, Fort Worth public information officer of code compliance, which includes the animal care and control services division, said the goal of this event is to find loving and forever homes for Fort Worth’s homeless pets.

She said anyone is welcome.

“We encourage people to bring their children, and we encourage people to bring their other dogs,” Covey said. “That way, the dog, currently a member of the family, can meet the potential one.”

Covey said allowing the current pet to play with the potential one reduces the number of animal returns, because it gives them the opportunity to bond.

Additionally, Covey said families will find this event helpful because the staff and volunteers who work at the Hulen adoption center are with the animals 24/7.

“They understand the pet’s personality,” she said. “They’re very educated when people come in and want to know about a particular dog or a cat. They know all about their personality, and that really helps the family.”

For example, the staff can inform a family that an animal is a little too energetic for small children and can recommend that the animal be adopted by teenagers or adults.

Covey said another benefit for those who choose to adopt an animal at this event is that Fort Worth has one of the lowest prices for animal adoptions in the metroplex. Dog adoptions cost $49 and cat adoptions cost $25. The price includes the pet’s initial medical exam, rabies vaccination and microchip.

“One thing that I really liked about the adoption weekend was that the cost included the dog’s first round of shots,” Fillmore said. “I also liked that there were puppies everywhere.”

Every available kennel at PetSmart will be filled with cats and dogs during the event. As animals get adopted, more will be brought to the store from the Chuck Silcox Animal Shelter, Fort Worth’s animal shelter.

The shelter partners with PetSmart Charities to provide animals for this event.

“What’s unique to Fort Worth is that we have an incredible partnership with PetSmart Charities,” Covey said. “They created adoption centers within their stores, and in fact, Fort Worth was the first municipality in the nation to have an adoption center within one of our local stores. The first one we opened up was at the PetSmart store at Hulen and I-20. We were awarded a second location in the PetSmart store at Heritage Trace and I-35 on the north side of town.” 

Covey said this partnership has tripled the number of pet adoptions. The last time this event was scheduled, about 16,000 pets were adopted nationally, while a little more than 100 animals were adopted in Fort Worth at either the Hulen or Heritage Trace adoption centers.

The event does not only benefit the homeless pets in Fort Worth, but it also helps the Hulen store.

“There is retail value for the PetSmart stores,” Covey said. “It is a multiple-fold great thing. You’ve got increased merchandising. The PetSmart stores offer grooming services. They have Banfield, the veterinary clinic.”

Like Covey, Fillmore said that the event is well-organized.

“I would definitely go to it again,” Fillmore said. “The Hulen PetSmart made the adoption process for the event really easy. The people there are really nice, and they give you a realistic expectation of what to anticipate with pet ownership.”