The third annual Pet Adoption and Wellness Support (P.A.W.S.) event at Fleming Park on April 29 resulted in approximately 100 residents receiving free vouchers for vet services such as immunizations and microchip implants.
At least 20 people also signed up to spay and neuter their pets, according to Councilman David Toro.
“So many people came here and said they wouldn’t have done this because they couldn’t afford it,” he said. “So it’s definitely made a difference.”
Toro created an animal foundation in 2015 to help stray animals find new homes and offer low cost and free spay and neuter and vaccination services. He said providing proper education about pet care is essential to reducing animal suffering and cruel treatment.
“It’s important for pets because they stay healthy,” said Toro. “It’s all about saving these animals’ lives.”
Melissa Garcia, 23, took her Labrador Retriever, Gracie, and Maltese, Maggie, to receive microchips and vaccinations. Garcia said the P.A.W.S. event alleviated her animal expense concerns.
“I like it,” Garcia said of the event. “It was nicely put on. It saves a lot of time and money.”
Residents had the opportunity to enter their pets in a parade, which judged animals on their cuteness, toughness, and styleness.
In addition, several pets were able to find new homes through rescue services. Every dog adopted was vaccinated, spayed, neutered, groomed, and rid of fleas, mites, and ticks.
Michelle Mortensen of Yorba Linda said rescuing dogs goes a long way. She rescued Mikey, a Chihuahua Mix, after he was ran over by a car. Finding stray dogs a new home, Mortensen expressed, does more than putting them to sleep.
“A foster offer can save a dog’s life,” Mortensen said. “The goal is to give them to the best person possible.”
Jazmin Gomez, 16, said Toro’s efforts helped save her cat’s lives. She’s now helping other pet owners find resources to treat their furry friends.
“Helping animals gives you a great feeling,” Gomez said. “They deserve that recognition and treatment as well.”