Maddie’s Matchmaker Adoptathon

By: Cheryl Palange

How much is that doggie in the window? This weekend, the answer was “nothing.” Thanks to the generosity of Dave and Cheryl Duffield of and who pledged $2 million to save 2,000 pets across more than 40 shelters in a single weekend, we were able to place 88 lucky kittens, cats and dogs in their new forever homes. Last year we placed 56 in two days, which we surpassed by four o’clock on day one this year.

Adoptions were free to families adopting animals during the event. Maddie’s Fund will pay each shelter or rescue group $500 for every dog/cat adopted. And to make sure no pet is left behind; $1000 will be given for every adoption of a senior or treatable pet and $1500 for every adoption of a senior pet with a medical condition. VHS anticipates receiving $45,000 from this year’s event.

The unseasonable June storm didn’t damper our spirits or enthusiasm on what turned out to be an incredible weekend to debut our beautiful, new facility to the public. VHS held adoptions at our new facility as well as at Stoneridge Mall with several other rescue groups. Rescue organizations with kittens, cats and dogs were located in the mall’s center court and proved to be at least as popular as Santa and his elves at the holiday.

The kittens were very popular and were scooped up quickly. Other notable rescues for the weekend include:

  • Phoebe – a senior kitty who was adopted from VHS about 5 years ago, but returned recently after losing her owner to cancer. Roberta lives on her own and had been looking for a kitty to keep her company for quite some time. Congratulations to Phoebe and Roberta… we wish them a lifetime of happiness together! You can read more of Phoebe’s story here.

  • Sarabi and Pumba – Rescued from the county shelter, our “Lion King” 1-year old Calico mom and 7 week old son were adopted together Sunday afternoon. We are always thrilled to see moms adopted, and more so when they get to go home with one of their babies.

  • Rosco – a striking 6-year old purebred Coon Hound who came to us from East County after escaping from his original home one time too many. This handsome guy was a center favorite because of his mellow personality and unmistakable howls. He went home Sunday with the Ricafuente family who pledged to give him plenty of room to roam and use that incredible nose.

  • Apollo- a 4 year old orange tabby who was long overdue for a home. When he was surrendered to us late October, we thought he would get adopted quickly due to his kind demeanor. As time kept moving forward, we were not sure why he was still here. During the Adoptathon, he waited patiently in a cardboard carry away box until his family came Sunday looking for a cat that fit his personality perfectly.

  • Pluto – a shy and sweet 6-month old poodle mix rescued from East County Animal Shelter a few months ago. This little guy was flea infested when we got him, but cleaned up beautifully in the care of our wonderful volunteers. Pluto was adopted by his foster mom, Kathy.

We couldn’t have done it without the nearly 150 volunteers who generously gave of their time to help the weekend run smoothly. Visit our Facebook page by clicking here. From the many greeters, runners, front office helpers, kitty city, doggie drive, adoption processors and everyone else who helped… thank you so much! This weekend would not have been the success it was without all of you.

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