LANCASTER — Ruben Gonzalez stopped by Toyota of Lancaster to get his car serviced Saturday morning. He went home with a gray kitten.
The dealership partnered with the County of Los Angeles Lancaster Animal Care Center to host the first community pet adoption and donation event of the year.
Toyota of Lancaster covered the adoption fees for the 17 animals brought to the showroom. Adopters paid the licensing fee, $5 for cats or $20 for dogs. If an animal needed to be spayed or neutered, there was also a $50 trust deposit to prepay for alteration.
The adoption event was supposed to start at 11 a.m. But once volunteers from the Lancaster Animal Care Center put the puppies, kittens, dogs and cats in kennels for the public to see about 10:30 a.m., adopters pounced.
“Kids want a cat, so I figured now would be a good time,” Gonzalez said as he held the two-month old kitten, named Berlioz by care center staff.
The kitten’s name is likely to change.
“I’m going to let the kids choose a name,” said Gonzalez, who also has a one-year black Labrador at home.
Littlerock resident Jose Luis Alvarez also went to Toyota of Lancaster to have his car serviced. He went home with a three-year-old German shepherd.
“I came for the service and then I saw (the adoption event) … why not?” Alvarez said.
Lancaster resident Sue Dell adopted a white and brown puppy — an eight-week old shepherd and Aussie mix. Dell appeared to bond with the puppy as soon as she held him.
“We just lost one,” Dell said.
Dell and her wife Jo Curone recently had to say goodbye to their pomeranian, Cassie. At one point they had six dogs and five cats. They have two dogs and two cats at home now. Jersey makes five.
Lancaster resident Marcy Sanchez went to the dealership to adopt a dog. She adopted a five-year-old terrier.
“We’ve been waiting to get our new baby home,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez brought two of her four sons with her, Angel and Oscar.
“We’ve been looking,” Sanchez said. “We did go to the pounds. I have kids that want to play with dogs, but they were either too little or they were too old.”
By 11:30 a.m. about seven animals, including all of the puppies, and the two kittens and one cat were adopted.
Christine Colvin, a volunteer programs coordinator for the County of Los Angeles Animal Care and Control, said it was the most amazing adoption event she’s handled.
“I’ve never been this busy at an adoption event, so this is amazing,” Colvin said.
Teresa Caso, Toyota of Lancaster’s customer relations representative, worked with Colvin to organize the adoption event.
“I think we’ll definitely do this a couple of times a year,” Caso said. “This is my first one, so I’ll definitely do it again.”
There were also raffles for pet adopters and anyone who donated items for the pets. They collected donations in cash and tangible items for the animals. Caso said they will likely hold another adoption event this summer.