Tara O'Donnell was tickled pink Saturday. Her dad didn't know it yet, but the 7-year-old had her first dog to love and cherish, flaws and all. Tara's mom helped her pick out the one-eyed Lhasa Apso, who had traveled all the way from Georgia to make her acquaintance at Norwalk's Petco. J.T., who had been living in a no-kill shelter down South, hit pay dirt and got a loving home in Stamford.
J.T. was one of 34 dogs looking for homes in the latest collaboration between Westport's T.A.I.L.S. (The Alliance in Limiting Strays) and Colbert Veterinary Rescue, in Colbert, Ga. They all made the 18-hour trek Friday. By 3 p.m. Saturday, half had found new homes.
The adoption event continues Sunday, and veterinarian Gloria Andrews is hoping for 100 percent success before heading back to Georgia. Adopting these dogs out is part of her plan to renovate her shelter and provide indoor cover for the rescues, who at this point only have outdoor cages. "I can't stand to see them out in the weather anymore," she said.
Seeing the dogs go was sad, she admitted, but "I know they're going to better places."
Tara's mom, Joanna O'Donnell of Stamford, said she went to Norwalk to get a dog because someone from PAWS recommended the event. J.T. is "so cute."
"I love the way his teeth stick out in the front," she said. "He's lost an eye, and he's got bow legs, but who cares?"
O'Donnell had dogs when she was a child, but it's been a while. She and her husband, Fergal, have been married for 12 years and have been dogless. He finally agreed to get one, but this is a surprise. "My poor husband, he's in Las Vegas on business," she said. "I said 'We're going to the pet adoption day.'"
According to T.A.I.L.S website, 20 dogs found homes Saturday. The adoption continues from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday at Petco, located at 431 Westport Ave.
Have you gotten a dog from a T.A.I.L.S. event?