The annual East Bay SPCA Adopt-a-Thon is being held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Jack London Square in Oakland.
Animal lover Diane Teakle's lifestyle right now does not accommodate a pet. So instead she volunteers two hours a week at the nearby East Bay SPCA shelter in Dublin, walking canines waiting to be adopted.
"It's the dog's time to get out on their own and interact with you,"
Teakle also is coordinating today's Adopt-a-Thon.
"The event has 54 booths and four different adoption vans," Teakle said. "Some of the rescues have more than one booth because they are bringing so many animals."
Thirty rescue groups and animal shelters are taking part, plus there will be six sponsors' booths and nine vendors, including pet portrait artists and others who return year after year due to popular demand.
Visitors can meet cats, dogs, rabbits, birds and reptiles available for adoption, and booths will offer arts and crafts for kids. A trainer will offer advice on animal behavior, and there will be dog training demonstrations, plus low-cost microchipping will be available.
Teakle noted the Adopt-a-Thon is an excellent place to talk to experts on what type of pet might fit best into your home, and it is a chance to meet an assortment of dogs and cats ready for adoption.
"We have rescues that specialize in particular types of dogs, so you can talk to the people at the booths and can find out if that particular type of dog is for you," Teakle said. "You can talk to people about what it is you think you are looking for -- who are the people in your household, if you have other pets -- and this steers them toward recommending a pet for you."
"Some of the rescues and shelters allow you to adopt an animal right then and there, some do not," she added.
People can put a 24-hour hold on a pet.
"You can fill out an application and say you want to think about it," Teakle explained. "Perhaps you have another dog you would want that cat or dog to meet. During that 24 hours, you can bring them to that shelter and introduce them."
The annual East Bay SPCA Adopt-a-Thon is usually held the third Saturday in July, but this year NBC chose that date for its nationwide Clear the Shelters dog and cat adoption initiative.
"Over 2,000 pets were adopted in the Bay Area during Clear the Shelters but, despite that, there are still a lot of cats and dogs, rabbits, rats, reptiles, all different kinds of animals to be adopted," Teakle said.
Teakle started volunteering at the East Bay SPCA after she retired six years ago from a federal government job in San Francisco.
"I had seriously considered adopting an animal when I retired but I realized my life was not any more stay-at-home-oriented even though I was retired, and it didn't seem fair to me to adopt a dog or a cat," she said.
"I thought volunteering would be a good way to get my doggie fix."
How to help
The local East Bay SPCA adoption center is located at 4651 Gleason Drive in Dublin. For adoption information, call 479-9670.
Becoming a volunteer begins with attending a one-hour meet-and-greet session. Learn more at www.eastbayspca.org.