West Valley City Animal Services hosts weekend adoption event to find homes for pets in need

Kendra Keller poses with Pearl, who she and her husband, Husaya Hama, adopted on Saturday. West Valley City Animal Services held a Shelter Saturday event, where people could come to adopt pets in need of a good home.

Kendra Keller poses with Pearl, who she and her husband, Husaya Hama, adopted on Saturday. West Valley City Animal Services held a Shelter Saturday event, where people could come to adopt pets in need of a good home. (Logan Stefanich, KSL.com)


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WEST VALLEY CITY — Husaya Hama and Kendra Keller knew their dog, Zombie, was getting a little lonely and needed a companion.

"We've been wanting my dog to kind of have a companion for a while, but he was also a rescue so we wanted to make sure he acclimated to us," Keller said.

Keller and Hama heard about the West Valley City Animal Services Shelter Saturday event, where the shelter — which is usually closed on weekends — opens its doors to people looking to adopt a pet.

As an added benefit, Best Friends Animal Society footed the bill for all adoption fees, stripping even more barriers to potential adoption.

"I think it's important for all animals just to have, like, a nurturing environment and I know they're (West Valley City Animal Services) doing the best they can, but that is what prompted me to come."

Keller said Zombie met another dog, Pearl, at the event and the two got along so well that Pearl found a new home with her, Hama and Zombie.

The event came at an opportune time, as well.

Karissa Gold, head coordinator of the West Valley City Animal Shelter, said the event was held in hopes of reducing the dog population at the shelter.

"We have about 66 kennels for dogs. We average about 90 (dogs) at any given point, so we don't really have enough kennels for the dogs that we do have," Gold said. "A lot of people are not able to make it (to the shelter) because they work doing those hours, so we do an event like this where we open up the whole shelter for everybody for a day and usually we do some pretty good adoptions."

Krystal Arnett has volunteered at the shelter for a year and was on hand to assist with introducing people and their pets to animals up for adoption.

Husaya Hama poses with his dog, Zombie. West Valley City Animal Services held a Shelter Saturday event, where people could come to adopt pets in need of a good home.
Husaya Hama poses with his dog, Zombie. West Valley City Animal Services held a Shelter Saturday event, where people could come to adopt pets in need of a good home. (Photo: Logan Stefanich, KSL.com)

She said even if folks aren't in a position to adopt, they can still make a positive and even life-changing impact in an animal's life by simply volunteering, or even fostering pets.

"One of the best things that somebody can do is sign up to be a volunteer at any of the shelters and go in, walk the dogs ... but you're coming out, you're playing with them (and) you're giving them that extra affection," Arnett said.

As far as fostering, Arnett said there's a plethora of programs people can get involved in.

Krystal Arnett, left, helps introduce Jake and Jenni Varney to a dog. West Valley City Animal Services held a Shelter Saturday event, where people could come to adopt pets in need of a good home.
Krystal Arnett, left, helps introduce Jake and Jenni Varney to a dog. West Valley City Animal Services held a Shelter Saturday event, where people could come to adopt pets in need of a good home. (Photo: Logan Stefanich, KSL.com)

The Community Animal Welfare Society is Utah's oldest animal rescue group. Through it, people can foster animals with all of the expenses — from food, training, toys, kennels, vet visits and whatever other expenses may arise — covered by the society.

Arnett also said that there's a rule people should be mindful of when adopting a dog.

"The 333 rule, which is like super important. Three days for a dog to get to know you a little (and) not be as scared, three weeks for them to ... start calming down, like, 'OK, I'm not going to be shipped off. I'm safe.' And three months for the full acclimation," Arnett said.

Several dogs and a few cats had been adopted early Saturday afternoon, with many people still filing in to see if they could find a good fit to take home with them.

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Logan Stefanich is a reporter with KSL.com, covering southern Utah communities, education, business and tech news.

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