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Tails will be wagging in anticipation this weekend as hundreds of dogs, cats and other pets eagerly await their new adoptive families at Fetch-apalooza, the largest pet adoption event in the state.

“Fetch-apalooza is an important event because it helps animal shelters from across the state – from big communities and small – that are struggling with overcrowded conditions,” said Tanya Lenti, marketing director for Albuquerque Publishing Co.

“The homeless pet population in New Mexico is a serious problem. The Albuquerque Journal, through its involvement in Fetch-apalooza, has become a voice for homeless pets in need and is committed to finding them homes,” Lenti said.

WHAT: New Mexico’s biggest pet adoption event
WHEN: Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, April 22, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: Albuquerque Journal, 7777 Jefferson NE
HOW MUCH: Free; adoption fees vary
Sponsored by Albuquerque Journal, the city of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department, PetCo and PetCo Foundation.
More than 50 shelters, rescues and animal welfare organizations from all over New Mexico will offer information and expert advice as well as adoptable pets.
Activities will include grooming demonstrations, as well as “loose leash” and “leave it” training by PetCo, $10 microchips, and a fashion show at 2 p.m. Saturday, an opportunity to dress your pet in its finest finery.
Orbit, the Isotopes’ lovable mascot, will also attend both days at 1 p.m.

Now in its fourth year, Fetch-apalooza links dozens of animal shelters, rescue operations and animal welfare organizations with hundreds of pet lovers and potential new homes at the two-day event held on the grounds of the Journal.

The event also offers free grooming and training demonstrations, free expert advice, giveaways and retail booths offering the latest in pet-care products and accessories.

Microchipping for your best four-legged pals will be available for only $10. For the fashion-minded pet and owner, there will be a pet fashion show at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Orbit, the colorful mascot of the Albuquerque Isotopes, will make appearances at 1 p.m. both days.

The event has an admirable track record: In 2009, 629 pets found new homes. The following year, 352 families took home new pets, and last year 416 pets were adopted.

If you’re thinking the event is exclusive to canine and feline pets, the participant list includes Walkin’ N Circles horse rescue, Tiny Toes Rat Rescue, the New Mexico House Rabbit Society, as well as traditional humane societies from Las Cruces, Raton, Santa Fe and the Chama Valley.

Konnie Andrews with the Chama Valley Animal Humane Society said Fetch-apalooza is an ideal way for small shelters to find adopters.

“We adopted out about three-fourths of the animals we brought last year,” Andrews said.

“We don’t have a shelter, and we foster all of our animals,” she said. “So for us, Fetch-apalooza is a great way to find them new homes.”

Specialty-breed rescue operations will offer Labrador retrievers, basset hounds, greyhounds, Great Danes, Boston terriers, Chihuahuas, Siberian huskies and Weimaraners. And there are plenty of the ever-popular plain ol’ mixed-breed mutts.

Fetch-apalooza is sponsored by the Albuquerque Journal, city of Albuquerque, PetCo and PetCo Foundation.

With the weatherman calling for sunny skies and afternoon temperatures in the high 70s to low 80s Saturday and Sunday – and an abundance of worthy pets seeking new homes – there’s really no excuse not to drop by Fetch-apalooza.

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— This article appeared on page A1 of the Albuquerque Journal