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  • Photos by Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Sophie Braun, 16, interacts with Jingles in the adoptable puppies section during Saturday’s “Holidays with the Dogs” event at Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control. The annual holiday open house featured a children’s craft area, photos with “Santa Paws,” tours and visiting the animals.

  • People check out the animals Saturday during the Animal Care & Control's annual holiday open house.

Sunday, December 03, 2017 1:00 am

Animals find home for holidays

Local shelter adds twist to open house, allows pet adoptions

DAVE GONG | The Journal Gazette

Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control was packed Saturday with more than 200 visitors touring the facility and meeting the animals available for adoptions. 

Visitors could be seen petting dogs and cuddling cats and kittens Saturday during Animal Care & Control's annual holiday open house. It was the first holiday open house held on a Saturday and the first where visitors could take home a new furry family member, department spokeswoman Holly Pasquinelli said. 

“Every other year, people have been able to come in and look at the animals and have constantly asked, 'Can I adopt?'” Pasquinelli said. “So instead of making them come back another day, we decided to open up for adoptions, and the response has been great.” 

More than a dozen cats and dogs were adopted Saturday, Pasquinelli added. 

Animal lovers in attendance Saturday could tour the entire facility, including areas typically off-limits to the public, Pasquinelli said. Visitors could also take part in a scavenger hunt around the shelter, have their picture taken with Santa Paws and enjoy craft projects and refreshments.

The shelter also offered information on volunteer opportunities throughout the year. Guests were able to learn about special cases and follow the recovery of dogs who need special medical care, Pasquinelli said. 

“This is the only time of the year when people can walk through the entire building, so it's a really great way for people to learn about our services (and) this year adopt animals,” Pasquinelli said. “Sometimes there's a stigma around shelters, so this is a great way for people to come and see what we're all about, meet our staff and see how well taken care of the animals are.” 

dgong@jg.net