Chance, who is up for adoption at the Berkeley Animal Services Shelter. Photo: Rob McNicholas/BACS

By Julia Musto

This Saturday and Sunday only, all adoptions at the city’s Berkeley Animal Care Services shelter (BACS) will be free, as part of the organization’s annual “Adoptathon” matchmaker.

Adoptions will be free to qualified adopters, and the shelter will receive $500 for every dog or cat adopted, courtesy of Maddie’s Fund. (To qualify for a free adoption, people must have documentation proving home ownership, or a rental contract stating you can have pets.)

The shelter will also receive $1,000 for every adoption of a senior animal, or animal with a long-term medical condition.

Rose is up for adoption at BACS too. Photo: Julia Griswold/BACS

This is the second year for the event and the second year BACS has participated, according  to BACS coordinator Amelia Funghi. “The event is a vehicle for adopting homeless animals in Contra Costa and Alameda counties and also a fundraiser for local shelters and rescue groups,” she said.

Last year the Adoptathon found homes for 1,805 dogs and cats. This year, the fund has set a goal of matching 3,000 pets with homes. Maddie’s Fund has set aside $2 million for this year’s Adoptathon – double the nearly $1 million spent last year – to cover this ambitious goal.

Maddie’s Fund is a family-owned pet rescue foundation. It was established in 1994 to help fund the creation of a “no-kill” nation. The foundation has awarded animal welfare organizations and universities a total of $71.6 million to save the lives of animals in the United States.

The original creators of the foundation, Dave and Cheryl Duffield, made a promise to their beloved Miniature Schnauzer, Maddie, to reimburse in dollars the amount of companionship and love Maddie gave to them before passing away in 1997.

“It’s looking like a rainy weekend, but I’m really hoping we can get good turnout and send some of these animals off to their forever home,” said BACS volunteer DeAnna Dalton.

For more information, visit the Berkeley Animal Care Services Facebook page and the Maddie’s Fund website.

Julia Musto is a student at Head-Royce School and lives in Berkeley. She is senior editor on her school newspaper, “The Hawk’s Eye”, and will be studying journalism at New York University next fall. She is currently interning at Berkeleyside.

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