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PAWS to Kick off 36-Hour Adoption Drive Friday

By Paul Biasco | December 5, 2013 9:13am
 These dogs and cats will be up for adoption this weekend during PAWS Chicago's Adopt-A-Thon.
PAWS Chicago Adopt-A-Thon
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LINCOLN PARK — This weekend, Chicago's largest pet adoption center will remain open later than all the 4 a.m. bars in Lincoln Park.

Starting at 11 a.m. Friday, PAWS Chicago will kick off a 36-hour straight "adopt-a-thon" with the hopes of finding homes for nearly 200 dogs and cats.

"We've had volunteers who have tried staying for a full 36 hours," said Sarah Ahlberg, PAWS spokeswoman. "There's one who is always drinking Red Bull, we tell him to go home."

The sixth annual Holiday Adopt-A-Thon will run through the night Friday and end at 11 p.m. Saturday at PAWS' main location, 1997 N. Clybourn Ave.

"There's often times people who work the nightshift will come in," Ahlberg said. "You might have a police officer come in at two in the morning."

For those popping in past midnight, you might be greeted by a volunteer in pajamas.

"It's so busy, there's volunteers that are running around," Ahlberg said.

The holiday seasons are normally a hot time for cat adoptions from PAWS, according to Ahlberg, but the organization warns against pets as surprise gifts.

Instead, the organization recommends bringing in the whole family to take part in the process.

PAWS Chicago also has a computer system in place to help pick the perfect dog for certain lifestyles.

The first step for adopters is to log into the computer station to fill out a survey.

The system will them assign one of three colors, purple for a laid back dog; orange for a dog that will play but is also calm around the house; or green for a dog full of energy like a Jack Russell Terrier.

All dogs and cats have been spayed or neutered, vaccinated and implanted with a microchip in case they were get loose.

PAWS Chicago is on pace to find homes for at least 6,000 dogs and cats this year.

Most of those animals came from the city pound, according to Ahlberg.

"There's nothing more rewarding to see than a family fall in love with a dog or cat," she said. "I think it's just a happy time of year when people might be thinking about adding a four legged friend."

For those who aren't looking to adopt, but want to help out, all donations to PAWS will be matched by long-time supporter Judith Blazer up to a total of $50,000.

Last year Blazer donated $1 million to the organization.